Be a True Witness
When someone is on trial for a crime of some sort, sometimes they will have a character witness come and testify for them. This person will usually sit on the witness stand and testify how good the person on trial is and how they never could have committed the crime they have been accused of. It is a very important choice the accused has to make on who this witness is. They cannot just put anyone on the stand to speak for them. They need someone of high moral character because the jury is judging the truths their advocate is speaking on their behalf. You would not want to pick someone you may have met in jail, but you would pick maybe your first-grade teacher. Let just say the words either of those people would say could be true, and the jury will put more validity in the person they see as more truthful person. We have seen this in our own Church with the recent scandals. Even though the words and teachings of Christ are good, true, and complete, they are damaged when the messenger has been tainted.
The truth is we are all called to testify for Christ because Christ’s trial truly never ends. We are all His character witnesses. The type of person we are and our own moral character is important not only for ourselves but for the good word of Christ we are all called to proclaim. All of us at times in our lives have not lived up to this responsibility. This is because we are all sinners. It is through Christ though we can repair these character flaws and become good witnesses again and again. We can use this time of Lent that is coming to us this Wednesday to make those repairs. In essence, we can prep ourselves for the witness stand.
The Gospel today talks about bearing good fruit. It reminds me of another Gospel where Jesus speaks of a landowner who wants a tree cut down because it is not bearing fruit anymore. The gardener pleas for time to care for the tree, to prune it and treat the soil around it. This is our time to be a gardener for ourselves…to renew the soil around us and prune out what is needed for us to start bearing good fruit again. A good place to begin this would be joining our parish in the 40 Hours of devotion to our Lord. It is a great time and place to slow down, take a breath from the world and spend time with Jesus. Christ is the true gardener, and he will teach us how to prune away those things that are keeping us from Him if we allow Him into our lives and into our hearts. Please join us.
May Jesus live in our hearts forever.