What is “a good man?” I feel today if someone is not seen as pure evil we might hesitantly say, “Well, he is a good man.” Maybe calling someone a good man is just another way to say that he has not done anything terribly wrong. We sort of meet the minimum requirements of society and the world sees us as good.
The standards need to be raised and we need to strive for something better. In yesterday’s gospel Jesus said, “Even now the ax lies at the root of the trees. Therefore every tree that does not bear good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire (Matthew 3:10).” What we see as good and suitable might be merely being a strong healthy tree. God calls us to be more. God wants us to bear good fruit and calls us to go above and beyond what is asked of us. Just being idle is not going to cut it.
Thankfully the Church in her wisdom has shown us how we are to bear these good fruits in the first reading from Isaiah with the gifts of the Holy Spirit. The spirit of wisdom, understanding, counsel, courage, knowledge and fear of the Lord are our gifts to be used. Learn, through prayer, to see how to use these gifts that we may become a good and holy people in God’s eyes.
Pray today and everyday for the Holy Spirit to show you his will and how to use his gifts.
Breathe in me, O Holy Spirit, that my thoughts may all be holy.
Act in me, O Holy Spirit, that my work, too, may be holy.
Draw my heart, O Holy Spirit, that I love but what is holy.
Strengthen me, O Holy Spirit, to defend all that is holy.
Guard me, then, O Holy Spirit, that I always may be holy. Amen.
-St. Augustine’s Prayer to the Holy Spirit
Giovanni Vitale II, Outreach Coordinator