8th Sunday of the Year: What kind of fruit is growing in our hearts?

Study:  Reflect on a time when you have noticed others speaking or acting in ways that are contrary to their character.  How does their behavior affect your interactions with them?

Pray:  Are there situations where you are challenged to live out the teaching of Christ?  Ask the Lord for the grace to bear good fruit in your soul.

Serve:  Is there a difficult situation in your life that requires your action?  Ask the Lord for the wisdom and strength to make it happen.

Mass Readings – 8th Sunday of the Year

Both Sirach and Jesus offer some practical, earthy spiritual wisdom:

You will know the tree by the fruit it bears.

In other words, if you want to learn about the hidden parts of a person, then it is important to listen and observe the practical things that they say and do in a consistent manner over time.  If a fruit tree is diseased, the fruit will be affected.

With respect to our interactions with one another, this insight is particularly powerful as a way to understand the people in our lives.  Now mind you, for this to be effective we must look for patterns of behavior; anyone can “fake it” in the short run, but when we regularly and consistently speak and act over time our behaviors reveal the content of our hearts.

Have you ever heard of the “Waitress Rule” in business or leadership?  Some leaders will purposely take potential employees out for dinner to watch how they interact with servers.  What the leader is looking for is how the person treats the waiter or waitress – a person who has no power or authority.  If the person is respectful and kind it is often a good indicator that they will be the same way toward fellow employees; if the person is haughty, rude, demanding or in any way unpleasant…it is often an accurate indicator that they will be the same way at work.

You will know the tree by the fruit it bears.

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Catholic Inspiration Archives

About Fr. Andrew Ricci

A Catholic priest since 1997, Fr. Andrew Ricci is currently the rector of the Cathedral of Christ the King in Superior, WI. His website "Three Great Things" can be found at studyprayserve.com and his podcasts can be found under "Catholic Inspiration" in the iTunes store. View all posts by Fr. Andrew Ricci

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