The Good News for the Day, September 15, 2018 Saturday of the Twenty-third Week of Ordinary Time (491) Jesus says to you his followers: “A good tree does not bear rotten fruit, nor does a bad tree bear healthy fruit. You know a plant by the kind of fruit it produces. And people don’t pick figs at thorn bushes, and they don’t gather grapes from prickly thickets. A good person out of a pantry of goodness in his heart produces good stuff, while a bad one—out of a pantry of evil—produces evil. It is, after all, from the fullness of the heart that the mouth says things. “Why do you call me, 'Lord, Lord,' but don’t do what I tell you to? I will show you what someone is like who comes to me, hears what I say, and acts on what is heard. That individual is like somebody who--building a house—dug deeply and laid the house’s foundation on rock. When the flood came, the river rose against that house but could not unseat it because it had been well built. The individual, though, who hears—and does NOT act on what is heard—is like somebody who built a house on shifty ground with no solid foundation. When the river flooded up against it, the house collapsed at once and was completely destroyed." (Luke 6) The thoughtful, prayerful, reflective person considers consequences. We make decisions—all kinds, some little, some big, some practical and some not so practical, and so on. Sometimes decisions are a win-win, sometimes a no-win choice. Sometimes decisions are simple. Sometimes they are mistakes. Sometimes, they produce good fruit. To follow Jesus, you and I choose out of our heart and mind, trying to be thoughtful of consequences—what is going to be the result—and results down the line—of this decision of mine? I say this—is it something that has a solid factual, truthful and moral foundation? I choose to do this, to go there, to listen to a friend, to accept a statement. These choices need a thoughtful, prayer-steeped in prayer flavor as part of the choice. Do you try to gather grapes from thorn bushes? Do you find truth and love among people who are angry and contrary? Do you find support, joy and peace among people who emphasize disdain and superiority? As Luke offers us the end of his version of Jesus’s Sermon on the Mount (See Matthew 5-7), the conclusion is the same: It is not the "name" of Christian that makes you a follower of Jesus--but doing what the Father wants. And since we all fall short—to some extent—Jesus asks you and me to keep building, keep making that foundation secure against hurricanes and floods, against the ravages of time, and the temptations that frighten us. Let us keep deepening our love for others in the House of God, the Family of our Creator, always aware of shortcomings and the danger of self-deceit.