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Friday, June 1, 2007

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St. Justin

Sirach 44:1, 9-13
Psalm 149
Mark 11:11-26

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the fruit-bearing fruit of holiness

"He went over to see if He could find anything on it." —Mark 11:13

Jesus "inspected everything" in the Temple precincts (Mk 11:11). He was inspecting the spiritual fruit of the Temple worship. We know this from the fact that between visits to the Temple, Jesus inspected a fig tree and cursed it for not bearing fruit (Mk 11:14). Because it is of extreme importance to bear fruit by leading people to Jesus and by receiving the fruit of holiness (see Gal 5:22-23), Jesus is a strict "Fruit Inspector." Usually, we must bear fruit no matter what the season, or we will be cursed, dead, and withered to our roots (Mk 11:20). Sometimes, however, the Lord will give us a little more time to bear fruit (Lk 13:7-9) before we are cut down or cut off to be thrown into the fire (Jn 15:6).

To bear fruit, we must simply live in Jesus and He in us (Jn 15:5). Then the Holy Spirit will produce in us the fruit of holiness (Gal 5:22-23). As a result, holy people lift up Jesus and thereby produce the fruit of evangelization as Jesus draws all people to Himself (Jn 12:32). As these holy evangelizers die more deeply to themselves, they produce even more abundant fruit (Jn 12:24).

Give Jesus joy as He inspects your holy harvest of souls.

Prayer:  Father, I will sow the tears of repentance and reap in joy (see Ps 126:5).

Promise:  "These also were godly men whose virtues have not been forgotten; their wealth remains in their families, their heritage with their descendants." —Sir 44:10-11

Praise:  St. Justin was a pagan philosopher who converted to Christianity. Hungry for truth, he defended the faith before the Roman Emperor and Senate and accepted martyrdom as a sacrifice to He Who is Truth.

Reference:  (For a related teaching, order our series of tapes on Evangelization on audio AV 55-1, AV 55-3, or video V-55.)

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, January 22, 2007

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