What is the fruit of your life?

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27 June 2018

Jesus offers us, in today’s gospel, some insightful wisdom when it comes to discerning someone’s character – judge, not by their words or appearance, but by the fruit of their lives.

King Josiah (in the first reading) is an excellent example of this. Josiah inherited the throne at age eight, from his father who, like his father, had turned his back on God and the covenant and followed other gods. Today we hear that, following Josiah’s having ordered the restoration of the Temple, a copy of the book of the Law is found – the whole story of God’s relationship with his people.

It is evident from Josiah’s reactions to what he hears that it is new to him. He is also the first in the whole country to hear it. As king, he has the power to ignore what he hears or even have the book destroyed.

It says a lot about Josiah that he took it seriously, allowing it to profoundly affect not only his own life and actions but also his country and all those over whom he ruled. The fruit of his life is summed up later in the Second Book of Kings like this: “Before him there was no king like him, who turned to the LORD with all his heart, with all his soul, and with all his might, according to all the law of Moses; nor did any like him arise after him.”

You and I may not rule a nation, but we all have the opportunity to allow the truth of the gospel to affect the whole of our lives. Do we live in such a way that others can see in us that God is love?

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