In the readings today, there are many uses of the word "fruit."
Beautiful, rich fruit on a tree is used as an image for what our interior lives should produce that is observable on the outside. This is how we are to judge the quality of our discipleship: by the fruits!
Here are the 12 fruits of the Holy Spirit as listed in the Catechism of the catholic church (para. 1832): charity, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, generosity, gentleness, faithfulness, modesty, self-control, and chastity. Do you see how ordinary they are? Do you see how they are qualities that help us to serve others?
Notice that discipleship is not about being correct. It is also not about how I feel. Discipleship is recognized in the fruits that are produced to encourage and nourish others. The spiritual fruits flow from a life deeply connected to God, just as natural fruit is produced by being connected to the tree.
Maybe a good practice for Lent this year would be to develop one or more of the fruits of the Spirit in your life. Are there any that you struggle with? If you were to grow in one or more of the fruits, then both you and others would benefit from your Lenten penance!BACK TO LIST