In the Gospel today, Jesus tells us the answer to a very common question: I have been faithful to God, why are these things happening to me? He uses the example of the Galileans whose blood Pilate mixed with their sacrifices or those who died when the tower of Siloam fell on them. We do not avoid suffering by being faithful to God. Suffering is part of this fallen world. The world today seems to be afraid of suffering. Why? Because they do not see the power and purpose of suffering. For them, there is no point in suffering. So people avoid it. People are careful on what they say so as not to offend others. Sad to say, this happens also with the faith. Many fail to preach God’s Truth for fear of offending people.
But there will always be suffering. We will be offended. Those who do not want to be offended or hurt live in an imaginary world and blame people for what they feel. Jesus said in the Gospel, the owner of the vineyard was looking for fruit and found none. So the gardener convinced the owner to give him one more year and he will dig around it and put manure on it. The digging and manure around the tree are sufferings we experience. These are meant to make us grow and bear fruit, because if we do not bear fruit, we are of no use and will be cut down! Yes, God will see if we have borne fruit. If not, we will be cut off from him.
St Paul shows us how to bear fruit. We must no longer be children, tossed to and fro and blown about by every wind of doctrine, by people’s treachery, by their craftiness in deceitful scheming.
We cannot believe everything every people say because God’s Truth is the Truth even if I do not agree with it. We cannot sway with every doctrine we hear, no matter how popular they are. If it is not based on God’s truth, the doctrine is wind. St Paul continues: we must grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ. God expects us to grow in our faith and we cannot grow if we believe anything people say. When we are properly formed, we then use the gifts God has given us to build the body of Christ to unity. St Paul continues to tell us everyone has a role in the Body of Christ. We cannot be spectators but must take an active role in building the Body of Christ. When we use the gifts God has given us, then we grow and bear fruit.
Lord, let me bear fruit that will last. Send your Spirit to teach me about Your Truth and let me not be swayed by every wind of doctrine. Help me to build your Church for your glory.