Wednesday of the Twelfth Week in Ordinary Time
The words and the actions
“Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but underneath are ravenous wolves. By their fruits you will know them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? Just so, every good tree bears good fruit, and a rotten tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a rotten tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire. So by their fruits you will know them. Mt 7,15-20
There are prophets of the Bible, of the history, of the politics, of the economy. Each human activity, since it requires some ability to read the signs of the times, even in limited contexts, expresses its prophets and the first thing to understand is whether they are credible. As the evaluation criterion, the gospel of today points out to us “the fruits”, not the words. The words of the men express the ideas and the concepts, but the fruits establish their credibility. On a certain day the Mahatma Gandhi, who during the past century has guided the not violent liberation of the India from the english dominion, was approached by a woman: “My son is becoming too much fat and his teeth are growing carious because hidden he eats many sweets – she said – I ask you kindly to warn him, because he appreciates you quite a lot”. “Come back the two of you within three days“ Gandhi answered. By the third day the woman returned with the son, to whom Gandhi simply said: “You boy, do not eat sweets any more, because these are not healthy for you”. “Sorry, excuse me for these words – the woman said – but I would be able to make such a recommendation three days ago!”. “No – Gandhi answered – because three days ago I was eating sweets me too!”. A wise and credible man cannot give up the coherence between the words and the actions. We too, in our family experience, have received a great teaching of coherence from father Arthur, a person whom we often recall. Thirty years ago, having already ten sons, we were evaluating the possibility to adopt Luis and Edgar, two boys from Perù indicated to us by father Giovanni Salerno, an agostinian missionary; we mentioned the situation to father Arthur to receive assistance for this decision. “ You have to do it – he said – because it is a good thing; the Lord will compensate you and the daily bread will never be lacking from your table”. We adopted Luis and Edgar and father Arthur, one day after the other, all along more than three years brought to us a bag full of rolls for the entire family. However, he did not come on a cold winter day and we thought he had forgotten it, but it was not so. While walking to our house with the usual bag full of bread, a car which went out of its road path because of the snow invested him and all the rolls spread around on the street. We had the remnant rolls of the past day, which we kept as an holy thing. Any time a son marries or goes out of the house to follow his life project, we give him some of these, as a sign of providence and of fidelity to the given word.