Jesus promises reward for the fruitful and damnation of the evil. Every Catholic man can grow in happiness by building the Virtue of Magnanimity so he always strives for holiness and to bear good fruit and by pursuing the Virtue of Prayer so he diligently prays and draws closer to Jesus each day.
23rd Week in Ordinary time – Saturday – Lk 6:43-49
Following the mocking of the hypocritical Pharisees, Jesus continues His Sermon on the Plain, exhorting men to produce good works and explaining how good works flow from a man’s commitment to build an inner life that invites Jesus to live within the heart of a man.
Jesus defines good and evil. Jesus’ disciples live lives of goodness (good trees which bear grapes and figs) because Jesus lives within them (good treasure of the heart). Evil men live evil lives (thorn or bramble bushes which produce only thorns) because they embrace evil (the treasure in their heart is a love of evil). Jesus reveals that men’s outward acts of good or evil are the result of the state of a man’s heart (inner life). Elsewhere, Jesus confirms (Mt 12-33-37, omitted from the Liturgy), in the Judgment, men will be either justified or condemned by their own words.
Jesus warns those who pretend to follow Him, but do not. Using the Parable of the Builder, Jesus exhorts men to strive to grow in sainthood (digging a deep foundation) by focusing on His teachings (foundational rock) and to build their lives (house) on Him; when the storms of life and the Judgment comes, a man’s life (house) will withstand the trials (flood). Men who lazily fail to strive for sainthood (digging a shallow foundation) and attempt to live their lives (build a house) based on lukewarmness, faulty morality, philosophy or religion (sand), will face ruin and destruction (Hell) when the floods of life and the Judgment comes.
Be awed by Jesus Christ
Consider, with holy fear and a firm commitment to amendment, what Jesus, the Divine King, says about salvation: Divine Judge, He condemns those who fail to yield the good fruit of good works as evil-doers; Divine Prophet and the perfection of Diligence (a part of Temperance), He offers a compelling and memorable parable to confirm God’s use of Vindication (a part of Justice in which the just are rewarded and the unjust are punished), protecting/saving those who diligently conform their lives to Him (build on rock) and allowing the total destruction (both temporal and eternal) of those who reject Him through laziness, stupidity, or evil (build on sand).
Strive for holiness and bear good fruit
Realize: As the Son of God, Jesus perfectly knows what leads men to peace and joy on earth, and eternal happiness, and fervently urges men to build a deep faith (good treasure, dug deep to set foundation upon rock) and warns them of the catastrophe of lukewarm faith (bad treasure, house built on sand) when the floods of life inevitably arrive.
Believe: Reflect upon Seeking Christian Holiness (CCC 2012-2016).
Pray: Jesus, Divine King, help me build the Virtue of Magnanimity (a part of Fortitude) so I zealously aspire to grow in holiness by drawing close to You and Your Holy Catholic Church, the greatest and most heroic purpose a man can have.
Diligently pray and draw near Jesus daily
Realize: Like building a foundation on rock requires a man to dig deep, building a life on the eternal rock of Jesus requires a man to dig deep in daily prayer; every Catholic man can find the only source of true security by diligently drawing close to Jesus in daily prayer.
Believe: Reflect upon Diligence in Daily Prayer (CCC 2205, 2685, 2698, 2720).
Pray: Jesus, Perfection of Prayer, help me build the Virtue of Prayer (a part of Justice) so I grow in the life-long discipline of daily prayer and I am blessed to be strengthened and personally guided by You each day.