Bearing Fruit in Christ
He takes away every branch in me that does not bear fruit and everyone that does he prunes so that it bears more fruit.(Jn. 15:2)
What is the fruit that we are called to keep in Christ? It is the fruit of grace: “without me, you can do nothing,” but “all things are possible to the one who believes.” The Father gives to us his Son and the grace to live in him. Everything we do in Christ is the fruit of his grace. Not only our acts of worship and praise, but also our joys and sorrows, our labors and our socializing, our collaboration with others in good works as well as our struggles we face in the world. St. Paul encouraged his early Christian communities with the words “all things work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his will.”
The Father is careful to not spoil the work of his Son, and Jesus tells us “he takes away every branch that does not bear fruit.” Today we are surrounded by the multiple works of every human being. It would be very nice for us to believe that all are done to please God in Christ. We must be careful that when we acknowledge the works of others that we give to God what belongs to God and Caesar what belongs to Caesar. No doubt God works in every person since our very existence comes from him, yet not all life is consciously united with God in grace. Grace is a wonderful gift, but often the working of grace remains hidden from the eyes of others. Jesus cautions us to keep our works hidden else we will lose the reward of doing them for him and receive the reward that comes from the false praises of others.