Liturgy: Seventh Sunday after Pentecost - Every Good Tree Bringeth Forth Good Fruit

July 15, 2023

The number which is borne by this Sunday (the seventh after Pentecost), suggests that it is this gift of wisdom that is the object of today's liturgy. 

What the fruits of wisdom are, St. Paul points out in the Epistle: "What fruit had you therefore in those things, of which you are now ashamed? ... For the end of them is death. But now being become servants to God, you have your fruit unto sanctification, and the end life everlasting" (Epistle).

In the Gospel, our Lord tells us: "By their fruits you shall know them ... Every good tree bringeth forth good fruit and the evil tree bringeth forth evil fruit." And He adds: "Not everyone that saith to me Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of Heaven; he that doeth the will of my Father who is in Heaven."

In commenting on today's Introit, St. Augustine remarks: "Hand and tongue must agree together; let the one glorify God and the other act accordingly." True wisdom does not consist only in hearing God's words but in fulfilling them; not only in praying to Him, but in showing Him by our actions that we love Him."

The Gospel," says St. Hilary, "warns us, that pleasing words and kindly airs are to be appraised according to the fruit of a man's works, and that a man is to be judged, not only as he paints himself in words but as he shows himself in deeds, since often the sheep's clothing serves to hide the fierceness of the wolf. Therefore, it is by our mode of life that we must merit eternal happiness, desiring what is good, avoiding evil and obeying the heavenly precepts with our whole heart, so that through the fulfilment of such duties we may be acknowledged by God."