Fr. Sanctus Mario
Inspiration and Bible Reflections

A Good Tree Does not Bear A Rotten Fruit.Sunday 8th Week Year C


Sunday Breakfast With the Word 8th Week Ordinary Time of  the Year C


Sirach 27:4-7, 1 Corinthians 15:54-58, Luke 6:39-45




A Good Tree Does not Bear A Rotten Fruit.



There was a particular family in Orlu In Imo state Nigeria that is known as a family of peace. This family was known by everybody who came in contact with them as a family where peace made itself a human being.


Their father gave birth to five boys and three girls. The ladies have all married while the young men have all married with kids. But despite that they have married, the family is strongly united in peace.


This is one of the families that you will see the brothers, I mean the men in the family still eating together and their wives and children eating together.


Hardly, will you hear any problem that escalates from there. They even told us that each of the brothers has an apartment in each of the brothers’ rooms in case He wants to have a little change of space. Their togetherness is top-notch.


 In one of our meetings with the eldest of the family, we asked him the secret behind such family koinonia that reached the extent that any of the brothers can drive the cars of the other and still buy things for each other.


 The man narrates that in the beginning it wasn’t like that. They grew up amid family issues that always escalated between their father and his brother.


They observed the problems and calamities that happened to them and promised themselves that they will never try such when they grow up.


Their father always tells them that he does not want them to live the way He is living with their uncle. Their Father has always longed that they live in peace and do things together, that with this, they will always achieve progress.


He explained that the father every weekend used to take them to a particular family in Mbano, where they will always take their weekend. What they observed there changed their lives. 


The father showed them the progress the family from Mbano was able to achieve within a little time because the brothers came together.


So, they now apply what they learnt from that family and almost all of them are progressing very well too. He told us that they will not close their eyes and watch any of them suffer. 


They do come together to solve their problems. He even baffled us when he said that any of them can pay the school fees of the child of any of His brothers. He told us that family unity is the best thing any person could wish for.


Good fruits will always bear good results. When we determine to bear good fruits, we will always bear good results.


In the gospel, Jesus says that there is “no good tree that produces rotten fruit, nor again a rotten tree that produces sound fruit. For every tree can be told by its fruit: This means that “A person’s or group’s character or worth is determined by their actions or the results.


Therefore, to know who a person is, we have to check the fruits He or she produces.

Therefore, I welcome you to the 8th Sunday of ordinary times of the year. This is the last Sunday before the Lenten season. As we look toward the season of Lent, our Gospel this Sunday invites us to look into our lives and reflects on the fruits that we bear. 



We have to ask ourselves “Are there areas in our lives that need to be more carefully nurtured and tended? Are there areas that need to be pruned, so that we can bear fruits? 



The fruits that we bear is what makes us who we are because Good trees can never and will never produce rotten fruits and if we are truly good trees, we have to pay attention to the fruits that we bear. 



In today’s liturgy, the church prepares us for the season of lent by reminding us of avoiding the life of hypocrisy and being sincere in living Good lives. When we live good lives, we produce good and excellent fruits.



Judged by the Quality of Our Fruits.



Fruit is a product of plant growth, such as grain, vegetables, or cotton. So, when we talk of fruits, we mean the products. It means what a tree produces. 



In the First Reading today (Sirach 27:4-7), the writer tells us that as the fruit of a tree shows the care it has had, so does one’s speech disclose what is on the person’s mind and the passage goes on to instruct that it is wrong to praise someone before he (she) speaks. 



In essence, we do not conclude about the personality of a person until we hear from him or her. Therefore, from what the person says, He can be known and in the gospel, Jesus says that out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks. 


Also while addressing the crowd in the Gospel of Matthew (15:11-20), our Lord Jesus Christ declares that it is not what goes inside of a person that defiles the individual but what comes out from the heart where evil thoughts get their formation.


 The mouth only serves to let out the thoughts in words. From this description, we understand that the words that come out from our mouths are verbal expressions of our thoughts. In essence, what makes us who we are is within. It is from the inside that we exhibit our actions. 


The principle is that our words and works accurately reflect the condition of our spiritual heart in the same way that an X-ray or an MRI reflects the condition of our physical heart. Our words and works make it clear what is in our hearts. 



The writer of the first reading says that “the orchard where a tree grows is judged on the quality of its fruit, similarly a man’s words betray what he feels. 



So, what we give is simply what we have. Therefore, the fruits of actions serve as a standard by which we can be judged.



“Can the blind guide the blind? Won’t they both fall into a pit?”



In Matthew’s version of this saying, Jesus is speaking directly to the Pharisees as blind guides (Matthew 15:12-14), but here the application is more general. These are rhetorical questions. He asks ‘Can one blind man guide another? Surely both will fall into a pit?



In essence, how we are will surely influence the people we lead. A prominent politician says that to know whether a leader is doing well or not, just have a look at His followers or those who are with Him.


Sometimes, how he does influences those who follow Him. From the implication point of view, it was obvious that Jesus was making references to the Pharisees which was clearly stated in Matthew 15:12-14).



 Though the Pharisees and teachers of the law had scrolls and interpreted them in the synagogues, this does not mean that they understood them. The Pharisees did not follow Jesus; so they did not understand and follow the Scriptures.” 


Therefore, this is the reason they misinterpret the scriptures and lack understanding of the teachings of Jesus. So, instead of leading people to the truth, they lead them away from the truth. 


Therefore, what this simply entails is that any result we want to see must first begin from us. If you are a leader and you want to change, begin it. How you do will begin to influence your followers.


We do not tell another thing and do another and then expect them to do only what we say. Secondly, we need to always be equipped spiritual, academically and morally.


When we become ignorant in our specific fields, we lead people away from the truth. We have to be a good tree first before we produce good fruits. 


A good tree does not bear rotten fruit. Therefore, If you want peace, be a man of peace. If you want a faith-filled community, be a man of faith.


If you want unity in your family, be a man of unity. Also if you want a healthy family, be a man of cleanliness. How we do influences the people around us. If we are blind spiritually, morally and academically, we will also produce the same

How we make our bed we shall lie on it.




The Ugly Face of Hypocrisy.



The Greek hypocritai means to act a part. It is the etymological derivation of hypocrites which refers to the persons who pretend or play-act.

In Matthew 15, Jesus accuses the Pharisees of hypocrisy. They pretend with their self-righteousness.

An actor portrays a role that is different from his true self. He performs only for show, for others to see. 

In the gospel, Jesus asks His hearers 

Why do you observe the splinter in your brother’s eye and never notice the plank on your own? How can you say to your brother, “Brother, let me take out the splinter that is in your eye,” when you cannot see the plank on your own? Hypocrite! Take the plank out of your eye first, and then you will see clearly enough to take out the splinter that is in your brother’s eye.




In the spiritual life, when a person acts contrary to his beliefs and convictions, then he is a hypocrite, a spiritual actor. He may portray an image of holiness and piety, but that is not who he is. This is obviously to get the admiration and praise of people. But in his daily life, he is not.


What he shows the people is not who he is. He only does things to receive public admiration. But what He does not truly come from the heart. This is like the Pharisees who pray long prayers. 


In Matthew 23:14, Jesus curses them saying “Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye devour widows’ houses, and for a pretence make long prayer: therefore you shall receive the greater damnation”.



Therefore, when we live our spiritual lives only to garner admiration, we invite condemnation upon ourselves, just like the Pharisees and scribes whom Jesus condemned.



Today, many people showcase fake miracles in the media just to get attention or followers. A good tree does not bear rotten fruit. Therefore, when we pretend or act, we will still know down within ourselves that what we are doing is just superficial. 



Therefore, even if we are praying and  shouting so that people will know that we pray too much, such a prayer will not cross the sky because down within us, we know the reason we are doing that. 


Nothing sweetest the heart than when we do things with a sincere heart.

The truth is that if you are blind spiritually, you are blind spiritually. It can never be hidden, one day the truth will surface. Secondly, during the election period, if we elect illiterates, let us not also expect them to do miracles and wonders. They cannot give what they do not have.



Each Tree Is Known By Its Fruit.



Fruit is always a product of something. In today’s readings, we are seen as trees. Therefore, our fruits depend on the type of trees we are. 



The first reading from Sirach corroborates this. In essence, whatever one says or does, is a sincere replica of what he truly is. The fruit of any tree is not hidden. You cannot see a mango fruit and think that it comes from an orange tree. 



Every tree produces its kind. No one gathers figs from thorns, nor do they gather grapes from a bramble bush” A good tree bears good fruit, and a bad tree bears either bad fruit or no fruit. A good tree does not bear rotten fruit.



In the gospel, Jesus says that the good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings out that which is good, and the evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings out that which is evil, for out of the abundance of the heart, his mouth speaks” 



 A fig tree bears figs, and a thorn bush bears thorns. A grapevine bears grapes, and a bramble bush bears brambles. 



Jesus states this self-evident principle to illustrate a parallel principle in our spiritual lives. A good person will always bear good fruits wherever you put him but a bad person no matter how holy he claims will bear bad fruits. By their fruits, we shall know them. 



A man of God will always be an agent of peace, unity and Love, but a devil’s agent will always be known for his wickedness and jealousy and agents of discord.


A good man will always want to help out and see that things are going well, but the other pretends but inside him or her, he does not want them. What you are is simply known by what you give to the world around you.



When you marry a new wife, no matter how hard she tries to pretend, one day her true self will showcase, and also the same thing with men. Whoever is good is known by the words, thoughts and the things he does.


He always exhibits goodness wherever he goes. But one with selfish interest will hide for a while but just in a twinkle of an eye, his or her true self will showcase. By our fruits, we are known. Good fruits do not bear rotten fruits. It is a joke for someone to seek orange fruits in bamboo trees. 






1. In these readings, the simple and glaring truth we shall learn is that what we are is what we shall give. 

A blind man will always show those essential characteristics of blindness in whatever he does. Ignorant one will always show that.

One who has bad intentions and selfish desires for something will one day exhibit his or her hidden intentions. We can pretend for years, but the fruits produced will always become a testament to us. 

Therefore to hide our true selves is not the way out. The way out is to make sincere efforts and work on ourselves. We have to prune our branches and make necessary corrections where needed.



2. Secondly, in the gospel, Jesus asked the Pharisees, “Why do you see the speck of chaff that is in your brother’s eye, but don’t consider the beam that is in your eye? Or how can you tell your brother, ‘Brother, let me remove the speck of chaff that is in your eye,’ when you don’t see the beam that is in your eye? You hypocrite! First, remove the beam from your eye, and then you can see clearly to remove the speck of chaff that is in your brother’s eye”.


Jesus warns against condemnation, he said “Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven’. 



The problem with judging is that the person who sets him/herself up as a judge of another person’s imperfections is also imperfect. So no one is perfect. 



We have to know this. We have to know that the one who points accusing fingers to others has his or her imperfections.


Therefore, when we see others not doing well, what they need is advice and proper guidance. Do not begin to go around and maim their names.



Do not blow their weakness to the mountains. The person we are condemning may be a hundred per cent better than us. Therefore, no one is perfect.


When we understand this, there will be peace. Since Jesus does not condemn us, we do not be fast to nail others to the wall. 



3. For us to effectively direct the people that we lead, let us ask for God’s wisdom and knowledge. We have to seek more expertise within the areas of our endeavours. We have to seek to know God more so that we can give God to the world. 



What we have is what we give. Therefore, If we lack the knowledge, let us seek the knowledge, to give the knowledge. If we lack the expertise, let us seek the expertise to give it to the world.


 If we lack good character, we seek to learn good character, because we will give it to the world. Also if we lack holiness of life, let us seek holiness of life, because that is what we shall give to the world. What we have is what we shall give. Therefore, if we lack good fruits, let us seek to be the good tree to bring forth good fruits.


We cannot pretend to be good, yet we do not show any sign of it. We cannot pretend to be good, yet we are only interested in our selfish desires. A good tree does not bear rotten fruits



4. We have also to know that no one is perfect, We have to pay attention to our imperfections and correct them. We have to ask God for the grace to conquer our weaknesses so that we can lead people in love and not in condemnation.



 All of us have our sins, weaknesses, and failures. We do not hide them to appear good, rather we have to work on them to be better and work sincerely for God. Therefore, let us be a good tree so that goodness will surround whatever we do.



5. All of us have our sins, weaknesses, and failures. Sometimes, we have the false feeling that we are better than others and we do not need any form of growth and improvement.


It is on account of this faulty thinking that our Lord in the Gospel today (Luke 6:39-45), maintains that we notice the splinter in our brother’s eye but do not perceive the wooden beam (plank) in our eyes. 


This happens when we are quick to blame, criticise, judge and deride other people while making ourselves “saints” and unimpeachable. 

From our “plank-studded eyes” we see ourselves as people who don’t lie, steal, cheat, gossip, or hate. It is always “the others” not “us”. 



Let us note this very well, that judging other people does not define who they are, it defines who we are. 



Life should be more about what God thinks about us. Instead of wasting time pointing out the mistakes and misdeeds of other people, there is a constant need to examine ourselves to remove the wooden beams that block us from critical self-examination.




6. There are things in your life that get you into trouble, relationships that bring out the worst in you, thoughts that seem to poison your heart and mind. These are bad trees, bearing bad fruit. They will not suddenly become good for you. No matter how much you wish they could. 


Then some relationships feed your soul and bring out your best. They bring you close to God. 

There are good works you do that bear fruit not only for your own heart but spreads positive things outward to others.


Search your life, search your heart, and you will find the things that poison your life. Build up the courage to cut them out of your life and burn them down to the root, that they will not regrow. When we cut the bad tree, we have to plant the good tree to produce good fruits.



7. Finally, Apart from Jesus. we cannot bear good fruit. A man must remain with Jesus so he can bear good fruit. For He is the vine and we are the branches. In John 15:4-5. 


Jesus says “Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine.


Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me? “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me, you can do nothing.



May God bless you dearest and give us the grace to bear good fruits. May God never forsake you. Amen



  1. Stella Ekwemalor says

    Oh Lord,I need your help

  2. Mailoushi James says


  3. Eze, Blessing Chinasa says

    Amen. Thank you Father.

  4. Chisom Egwudike says


  5. Otokpa Elijah says


  6. Adesanya Ayodeji Mary says


  7. Mbama Christiana says

    Amen. Lord give us the grace to live in peace with one another.Amen

  8. Chioma Frances Egwuogu says


  9. Blessing Anne says


  10. Ekwem Emmanuela Chiamaka says

    Amen and Amen

  11. Rosemary Umeze says

    Amen. Thank you Father

  12. Gabriel-Martin says

    Amen Fr

  13. Chinwe Agwoile says

    Help me, dear Lord Jesus, to learn how to mind my own business and to correct myself first before correcting others. May I see the need to amend my way of life in such a way that I will ultimately become a model and mentor for others. Forgive me for writing off people just because they don’t think like me. Give me the grace to always bear good fruit. Never forsake me, Lord!Amen!

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