In his letter to the Galatians, St. Paul lists the nine fruits of the Holy Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control (Gal 5:22-23).
“Just so, every good tree bears good fruit, and a rotten tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a rotten tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire. So by their fruits you will know them.” (Matthew 7:17-20)
This passage in Matthew's Gospel helps us to understand the Fruits of the Holy Spirit, which are the observable behaviors of people who have allowed the grace of the Holy Spirit to be effective in them. The Church includes chastity, modesty and charity.
Why fruit? Fruit is delicious. Fruit is bright and vibrant, sweet, full of nutrients, essential for a healthy life, festive and fun. It is the tasty and exciting part of our food supply. Just like a ripened strawberry, kiwi or pineapple our hearts bear fruit when the Holy Spirit lives there. So Come Holy Spirit and fill our hearts. Give us these gifts to share.
Have you ever bitten into rotten fruit? Did you spit it out? Of course you did. It tastes terrible and should not go into your body.
We have had some lively discussion this week at morning prayer about what this rotten fruit may look like. It looks like hatred, anger, laziness, being judgmental, or rude. It looks like causing more trouble instead of staying calm when you are frustrated. It looks like not doing your best or even being disrespectful to adults who love you.
So what can we do to be a healthy tree? How can we take good care of ourselves so we bear tasty fruit? Your kids are so smart and already know. Get a good night’s sleep, eat healthy food, brush your teeth and hair, pick up after yourself and others, pray, do your homework, make friends and work hard to keep them, exercise, etc.
Most important is to see ourselves as the image and likeness of God. We are meant to treasure and safeguard our body and soul. I hope and pray that our students understand that they possess gifts of the Holy Spirit and this gives them the trust in God that they need to look for goodness in all that they do. We are meant to be the light of Christ! So let’s shine!
Anne Atkin, principal