Saturday of the 23rd Week of the Year

Luke 6:43-49

A Tree Known by its Fruit: The Two Foundations


A Filipino saying is true: “Kung ano ang puno, siya rin ang bunga.

In a similar manner, Jesus says in today’s gospel: “No healthy tree bears bad fruit, no poor tree bears good fruit and each tree is known by the fruit it bears…”

The main point of Christ’s illustration of the tree is that we have the power within us to do good and evil.

Jesus’ followers are expected to bear the fruits of holiness and goodness. He hates people who are useless, mediocre and hypocritical. We are good in calling his name: “Lord! Lord!” but our life is completely contradictory to the gospel.

Certainly, our faith hinges on the fruits it bears. Our Father is happy to see love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control in our lives (Gal 5:22-23). And he would definitely be sad with us if our lives are characterized by immorality, impurity, shamefulness, idol worship and magic, hatred, jealousy and violence, anger, ambition, division, factions, envy, drunkenness, orgies and the like (Gal 5:`9-21).

So what kind of fruits do you bear? What kind of heart do you have?

If your heart bears the fruit of holiness, be glad! If your heart bears the fruits of flesh, beg God for a change of heart! (Fr. Jerome Cayetano, SVD Bible Diary 2004)


I visited the Holy Land several times but mostly during summer. There I saw those wadis in the Judean wilderness, deep valleys between steep slopes. It is pleasant to walk there because the bottom is of soft sand and one finds shade in the otherwise hot surroundings. Nice places to settle down! But I never saw a house or a hot there. In 1999, I visited the Holy Land in December and I saw those valleys again. But how different they were now! They are actually empty river beds during summer which become raging torrents when the winter rains begin to fall. If somebody would build a house there, as Jesus says, it would be swept away in winter.

Why would one be so foolish and build a house there? Only a lazy person would do this, somebody who wants to avoid heavy digging in stony and rocky ground. The sand is much more attractive and much less troublesome. But this lazy person would also be short-sighted. He would not think how this place will look a few months from now, a river that will carry his house away. And here we discover the message of Jesus for us.

It would be easier to go one’s own way than to take the road of discipleship Jesus invites us to follow. But the end is ruin. It every decision in life there is a short view and a long view. Jesus wants to see things not in the light of the moment but in the light of eternity. We often feel tempted to go the easy way and find heavy and difficult what Jesus or the Church tell us. But if we give in to this temptation we are building a house on soft sand in a dry riverbed bound for ruin. And that is the last thing Jesus wants. He wants us to have a solid foundation in life that carries us through all storms and threats. (Fr. Rudy Horst, SVD Bible Diary 2005)


“Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord’, but not do what I command?” as followers of Christ we are to be healers and doers of his word. How often it happens that people will agree easily with his teaching, but go away and do nothing about it. It is not enough for us to know what Jesus taught, it is not enough for us to agree with him. His word is given that we may use it, put it into action and make it a part of the structure as we build a life.

Jesus knows that somewhere between the head and the heart and the hands and the feet good intentions get lost. We might agree that the following are good ideas: “If someone strikes you on the right cheek turn to him the other,” “love your enemies,” “you cannot serve God and mammon,” “ do not judge,” “do to others what you would have them do to you.” The problem is that we are all notoriously bad at implementing them. Jesus finishes the Sermon on the Mount with a warning. If you fail to implement His teachings, if you fail to nod your head in agreement but fail act, then you are just like a house built on sand. You look great but you will end up wanting and lacking in substance.

“All evil needs to thrive is for good men to sit back and do nothing.” (Fr. Joey L. Sepe, SVD Bible Diary 2006)


September 10, 2016 Saturday

Dr. Smiley Blanton, relates Fr. Mark Link in his Daily Homilies, shares the story of a patient who saw a Bible on his desk. “Do you – a psychiatrist – read the Bible? the patient asked. `I not only read it, `I told him, `I study it. It’s the greatest textbook on human behavior ever put together. If people would just absorb its message, a lot of us psychiatrists could close our offi ces and go shing.” (Reader’s Digest, August 1996)

Dr. Blanton continues, “If only patients put into practice and live the message of the Parable of the Prodigal Son, they could be healed overnight. Dr. Smiley Blanton concludes: “God`s loving forgiveness is infinitely greater than any mistake we can make.” May our Lord help us not only to commit to mind and take to heart but more so to put into action His message of forgiveness and love. (Fr. Fred Mislang, SVD VCR, CKMS-Quezon City Bible Diary 2016)


BEAR FRUIT: Today Jesus concludes a long teaching He has been giving. To review what has happened in the Gospel this week: after a night in prayer, Jesus chooses His twelve Apostles. Then He heals many people in a large crowd. He follows this with a special instruction for His followers, beginning with beatitudes and woes. Beatitudes: blessed are the poor, the hungry, the weeping and the persecuted. Woes: but woe to the rich, the filled, those of the easy life, the popular. The beatitudes and woes are another impressive view of Christ’s doctrine that the last shall be first and the first shall be last.

Jesus then follows with His most often repeated teaching: love your enemies, be unselfish, do not set yourself up as judge of others, be generous and forgiving.

At the end of this teaching Jesus concludes (Luke 6:43-49), “Bear fruit from this instruction! If my words are in your heart, your fruit will be good. And remember, it is not enough to say, ‘Lord, Lord.’ You need to build your life on the solid foundation of obedience to the Lord’s word. Otherwise your Christian life will wash away in the floods of this world.”

Who builds the house without laying a foundation? He is the one who hears God’s word but does not live by it. Who is the person that digs deep and lays solid footings? The one who listens carefully to Jesus and obeys His words. (Revs. Bernard C. Mischke, OSC and Fritz Mischke, OSC, Pray Today’s Gospel published St. Paul Publication 1990, p. 282)


SATURDAY OF THE 23RD WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME (YEAR A) – LUKAS 6:43-49. Unsa may kahulogan ning panultihon: “Dili mamunga og daotan ang maayong kahoy, ug ang daotan dili makapamuga’g maayong bunga”? Kining pagtulon-an ni Kristo mapamatud-an diha sa kinabuhi sa mata’g tawo. Ang punoan sa usa ka tawo mao ang iyang kasingkasing. Ang tawo nga limpyo’g kasingkasing magsulti sa kamatuoran ug magbuhat sa unsay sakto. Gikan sa usa ka tawo nga maayo’g kabubut-on manggawas ang mga buhat sa kaluoy ug gugma. Apan, ang tawo nga hugaw og kasingkasing dili magmatinud-anon sa iyang mga pinulongan ug binuhatan. Gikan sa usa ka tawo nga ngil-ad og kabubut-on mosunod ang mga buhat nga salawayon sama sa pagkasina, pagpanikas, pag-abuso ug pagpasigarbo. Busa, ipahiluna nato ang atong kasingkasing sa Dios aron makapamunga kita’g mga buhat nga dalaygon. Posted by Abet Uy


Friday, September 11, 2015

SATURDAY OF THE 23RD WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME (YEAR B) – LUKAS 6:43-49. UNSA MAY KAHULOGAN SA GIINGON NI KRISTO: “DILI MAMUNGA OG DAOTAN ANG MAAYONG KAHOY, UG ANG DAOTAN DILI MAKAPAMUGA’G MAAYONG BUNGA”? Ang punoan sa usa ka tawo mao ang iyang kasingkasing. Ang tawo nga limpyo’g kasingkasing magsulti sa kamatuoran ug magbuhat sa unsay sakto. Gikan sa usa ka tawo nga maayo’g kabubut-on manggawas ang mga buhat sa kaluoy ug gugma. Apan, ang tawo nga hugaw og kasingkasing dili magmatinud-anon sa iyang mga pinulongan ug binuhatan. Gikan sa usa ka tawo nga ngil-ad og kabubut-on mosunod ang mga buhat nga salawayon sama sa pagkasina, pagpanikas, pag-abuso ug pagpasigarbo. Adunay nag-ingon: “Beauty isn’t about having a pretty face. It is about having a pretty mind, a pretty heart, and most importantly, a beautiful soul. “ Posted by Abet Uy


Friday, September 9, 2016

SATURDAY OF THE 23RD WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME (YEAR C) – LUKAS 6:43-49. UNSAON MAN NATO PAGPALIG-ON ANG ATONG PAGTOO? Bisan unsa nga butang manginahanglan og lig-on nga pundasyon. Ang kahoy ug ang balay nga huyang ang pundasyon dali ra nga matumpag. Ingon usab niini ang mahitabo sa atong pagkatawo ug sa atong pagtoo kon kini walay lig-on nga gibarogan. Ang ebanghelyo nagtudlo nga si Hesus mao ang pinakalig-on natong pundasyon. Ang tawo nga mosunod kaniya, maminaw sa iyang Pulong, ug mobuhat niini mahisama sa usa ka tawo nga nagtukod og balay ibabaw sa bato. Walay bagyo sa kinabuhi o pagsulay nga makalumpag niini. Ang pagbuhat sa gisugo ni Kristo maoy makapalig-on sa atong pagtoo. Adunay nag-ingon, “Knowledge is of no value unless you put it into practice.” Tinuod usab ang panultihon, “Faith alive is faith in practice everyday.” Posted by Abet Uy


Reflection for Saturday September 13, Saint John Chrysostom, Bishop and Doctor of the Church; Luke 6:43-49 Reflection: Who is the foundation of your life? If Jesus is the foundation of your life you’re in the hands of the most powerful rock of this world. Nothing can defeat you and nothing can destroy you because your life is strongly founded in Jesus.

Should you rest already and feel secure because you trusted your life in Jesus? No, because you have a mission and your mission is to share the gentleness of Jesus to your fellowmen. Remember that you are the good tree that Jesus mentions in the gospel and out of your goodness you must share your fruit which is no other than Jesus.

Let us not keep our love for Jesus to ourselves let us share this burning love with others so that they too will feel the love of Jesus. They too will feel the healing and forgiveness of Jesus because Jesus is very much needed today more than any other time in our history.

Just imagine those who live their lives without the guidance of Jesus there are hundreds even millions of them. If you share Jesus even to only one of them you have already fulfilled your mission as His fruitful follower. And who knows by your courage of sharing Jesus you may change lives because you cared to share Jesus.

Will you care to share Jesus? – Marino J. Dasmarinas


Friday, September 11, 2015

Reflection for September 12, Saturday of the Twenty-third Week in Ordinary Time: Luke 6:43-49

Reflection: What will happen to a child when he/she is taught with proper values and when this very values and lived by his/her parents?  The child will grow-up to become a good and God loving person. This is always the result whenever a child is properly taught by his/her parents.

On the other hand, if a child is not taught with proper moral values and the parents do not live the same moral values. We could be assured that this child will grow-up with a distorted sense of values. For the simple reason that he/she was not taught about it or saw it being lived by his/her parents.

In our gospel reading this Saturday Jesus said to his disciples: “A good tree does not bear rotten fruit, nor does a rotten tree bear good fruit. For every tree is known by its own fruit (Luke 6:43-44). The good tree is the parents and the good fruit is their child.

Jesus tells us that whatever good that we teach our children will be imbibed by them. And the good that we do and teach our children will form a great part of their rock solid moral foundation.

Many of the modern parents of today are always busy with work. They hardly have time to teach their children about good moral values much less love of God. So what children are they rearing? Children that are lacking in values and love of God and nobody are to blame for this but the parents.

Do you still teach your children about good values and love of God? Do you live it also? – Marino J. Dasmarinas


BUILT ON ROCK OR ON SAND? “Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord’ and not do what I say?” This question of Jesus strikes us. Sunday after Sunday, we hear the Word of God. Some even hear it every day if they attend daily Mass or read the Bible at home. But do we do what the Lord tells us?

Are we not selective, picking up words we like? Don’t we have the tendency to enjoy the nice words of Jesus but ignore His often demanding words? Many wonder why the Masses they attend seem to have no effect on their lives. Others wonder why God doesn’t seem to answer their prayers.

Jesus illustrates this with the parable of a man who builds His house on sand while another builds it on solid rock. The house built on sand easily collapses during a flood, while the house built on rock remains safe.

Could it be that we are like the man who built his house on sand? What was wrong with him? Two things went wrong: Digging until reaching solid rock was too difficult for him. And then he lacked foresight; he did not think of the yearly autumn floods.

Lack of foresight and taking it easy — these were the problems of that man. Jesus says that all those who call on Him but do not do what He says are like this man, heading for disaster.

The saint that the Church honors today, St. John Chrysostom, was a man who built his “house” on solid rock. His mother gave him a good education; he studied under famous Greek master Libanius. He lived a strict monastic life for six years. He spoke out against the luxury and corruption at the royal court and was exiled by the enraged empress. Once back, she exiled him again but still this did not shake him. His last words before dying were, “Glory be to God for everything. Amen.”

Listening to God’s Word and then doing what we are told makes us strong, so strong that no suffering and problem can shake us. Because our “house” is built on the solid rock of God’s Word. Fr. Rudy Horst, SVD

REFLECTION QUESTIONS: Are you selective when you hear or read the Word of God? Are you ready to do what Christ tells you, even when it is difficult?

Lord, thank You for reminding me of something so essential. Help me to live out Your Word, even the most demanding words, in my life.


Know the Tree by Its Fruits

September 12, 2015 (readings)

Saturday of the Twenty-third Week in Ordinary Time

Luke 6:43-49

Introductory Prayer: Lord, here I am again spending time in prayer. I am going to meditate on your word. I do not want to be one of those people who cries out “Lord, Lord” but never does what you say. You know too well how weak I am, how many times I have trusted in my own strength and left you to one side. I come to you today in humility to ask for your light and your grace.

Petition: Lord, help me to build my life on a firm foundation.

  1. Good Fruit from a Good Tree:How will we know what lies deep down in our souls? We will know from the kind of fruit we produce. If our lives are examples of charity, faith, patience and honesty, we know that our soul is healthy and strong. If our lives are examples of anger, envy, lust, selfishness or laziness, then we know that there is a weak and sickly soul inside. If we want to change, we cannot simply try to change the appearances – to put on a nice face or pretend to be a good person. Sooner or later the mask will fall, because it is only hiding something rotten inside. We must change from within, go deep down to the root of our defects, heal our soul in the sacrament of penance, and work to build a life of virtue from the very foundation.
  2. False Security:When the sun is shining and all is calm, a house built on a weak foundation seems very strong and sturdy. It is hard to believe that it will not withstand the force of rain, wind and floods. We sometimes have a false security in our lives when all is going well. When there are no big temptations, when the trials and difficulties of life are small and easily overcome, we can convince ourselves that we are on solid ground. We can be lulled into thinking that our spiritual life is strong and that we will never fall into sin as we have in the past. We must be careful and very objective because this may be a false security.
  3. The Test:The true test of the foundation comes when the rain starts, the wind blows and the floodwaters rise. The test of our spiritual lives comes with temptations, difficulties, disappointments and trials. If we have built our spiritual lives on a firm foundation of virtue, self-denial and union with God, it does not matter how hard the floods come down against us: We will stand firm. We must keep in mind that in the moment of the flood we will not be able to go out to fix the foundation. It will be too late. We must work on building a strong foundation while the sun is shining so we will be ready for the test. We must act on the words of Christ now, in this moment, while there still is time.

Conversation with Christ: Lord, do not let me be lulled into a false sense of security just because my life is not so difficult in this moment. I want to be ready for the test. I want to be ready when the floods come. Help me to work today to strengthen the foundation of my spiritual life. Help me to grow in virtue.

Resolution: I will concentrate today on practicing one virtue that I know I need to work on.


ON SOLID GROUND – That one is like a man building a house, who dug down deeply and laid the foundation on rock. – Luke 6:48

I rent out my modular skateboard and BMX ramps. It’s used for BMX and skateboard stunt demos for product launches, TV commercials and competitions. When I acquired those from a friend’s abandoned skatepark, I told myself that I would use it for the greater glory of God.

One day, I got an inquiry from a woman who needed it for a product launch. She wanted a full set-up. Without asking what their product was, I told her it was P350,000 per day. She said they’d rent it for two days. All of a sudden, I heard the sound of cash registers ringing in my head. That was a clear P700,000 paycheck for me. It was a big amount of money that I badly needed that time. I was about to seal the deal when I asked what product it was for. The lady proudly said, “We’re launching a new flavor of our famous condom collection.”

I was stunned. I’m against the use and promotion of contraceptives, condoms and other things that suppress life. I immediately thought of losing a sure P700,000 but I kept my faith and rejected the lady’s offer. She asked me to reconsider by offering a higher fee. But I stood firm and didn’t exchange my values for a big amount of money. Monty Mendegoria (

Reflection: The earth may shake but no magnitude can topple you when you stand on solid ground.

Jesus, be my strength amidst all trials. You are the rock of my salvation.


ROCK STAR – But the one who listens and does not act is like a person who built a house on the ground without a foundation. – Luke 6:49

Pope Francis came to the Philippines in 2015 and took the country by storm with his disarming charm and graceful presence. People from different parts of the country and from all walks of life came in troves, braving the uncomfortable weather, long wait and inconvenience to get a brief glimpse of him and for a possible encounter. Netizens likened him to a rock star that fans went gaga over.

He admonished the clergy to give up worldly possessions, smart-phones included. He called on public servants to end corruption and attend to the poor. He reminded the husbands to always be their wife’s boyfriend and the typhoon victims not to lose hope and sight on the Lord in all their trials.

Rock stars give us their music for entertainment that is forgotten in time. But our dear Pope Francis came and gave the Filipinos eternal messages from God of mercy and compassion to touch our lives and redeem our souls. After the euphoria, did the faithful heed his call? Or was the apostolic visit a one-time hit like a rock star’s concert soon forgotten? I pray we may not let it be a terrible waste. Marie Franco (

Reflection: Did you become a better version of yourself after being moved by Pope Francis’s presence?

Father God, I am weak and I cling to bad habits. Fill my heart with Your loving presence so that I will listen to Your word and amend my life. For You, O Lord, are my God and my Savior.


September 10, 2016

REFLECTION: Every now and then we come across controversial figures. Controversial because their ideas on the Christian life are new and startling, a bit shocking to staid believers, but greatly praised by more adventurous Christians. How do we assess such controversial figures?

In today’s gospel reading Jesus gives us a criterion which enables us to assess correctly the people who claim a role of ideological leadership among Christians: “Each tree is known by the fruit it bears,” Jesus tells us. And he specifies: “A good person draws good things from the good stored in his heart, and an evil person draws evil things from the evil stored in his heart.”

Well and good. But what are the “good things” Jesus is referring to? Here Paul can help us when he teaches us about the fruit produced by the Holy Spirit. “The fruit of the Spirit,” he writes to the Galatians, “is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control” (Gal 5:22-23). Previously, he had written that the opposite fruits are: “immorality… sorcery, hatred, rivalry, jealousy, outbursts of fury, acts of selfishness, dissensions, factions… drinking bouts, orgies” (vv.19-21)

With these criteria, we can assess any controversial figure.



Today’s Readings:  Year I,   Year II

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