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Lent,2nd S,March 13,11,Mt.7:15-27

Lent 2nd S.March 13,11

(Mt.7: 15-27)

The reading from today’s Gospel is a powerful reminder to each one of us about the need for a spiritual renewal in our lives.

Jesus is warning us about the false prophets. They appear to be spokespersons for God but actually they are cheats and deceivers. There is no conformity between their words and actions. They don’t live according to their faith. Jesus warns us to avoid false prophets who are out there to deceive people. They are like bad trees that cannot produce good fruits. Good actions come from those who are good in their lives. People who are essentially bad can never produce good actions. Actions may appear to be good but they are inherently defective.

Jesus, hence, wants his disciples to have their lives based on the solid foundation of their faith in him. Only those who live their lives in conformity with the will of God will have a life that is solid and strong and their lives will never be disturbed by the power of the evil forces.

It is not the words that one speaks but the actions that one does that count in the eyes of God. Those who listen to the words of Jesus and live by those words will have definitely a strong spiritual foundation. They will able to withstand the power of the evil.

In a very few words, Jesus has laid out before us the map of our spiritual life. What is important is the conformity between our faith and our life. Our life should be guided by our faith in God.

Many a time what happens in our life is that we keep a distinct polarity between our faith and daily life. Many of our words and actions come from our selfishness and arrogance. Even when we act in the name of Christ, we are actually acting through our selfish motives. That is why those Christians who are in authoritative positions are such bad specimens of Christ and fail to draw people to Him. We can do all kinds of spiritual exercises in the name of Christ but if they are devoid of the soul of love and compassion, they are worthless.

When we examine our lives as Christians, we find that many a time there is a wide gap between our faith and our daily lives. We live in two worlds. We say and utter words of faith but we don’t see those words translated into our actions. The way we think, act and feel are worlds away from our faith.

We are arrogant and selfish like any one else. There is nothing that makes us different. We retaliate when we are hurt. We abuse others when we are challenged. Our words are contemptuous and derogatory.

This season of Lent is a beautiful opportunity to make a deep change in our lives. Instead of depending on the external rules of fasting, let us go into the innermost depths of our hearts and do some fasting there. It should be a fasting from anger and selfishness, and from biting and sniping remarks.

As Arch Bishop Sheen remarks in his beautiful book, “Lift up your Heart”: “Motive is what makes the saint. Sanctification does not depend on our geography, or on our work or circumstances. The truth is that it makes no difference where we are; it all depends on whether what we are doing is God’s will and done for love of Him.”

All our humdrum tasks of life---typing, office work, work at home, caring for the sick child, teaching, administrative tasks, being subordinate to arrogant bosses, working with gossiping and sniping colleagues---every such task “ can be ennobled and spiritualized if it is done in God’s name.”

May the words of Jesus that we heard in today’s Gospel make us turn a new chapter in our lives and make us better followers of our Lord.

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