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Tending to Our Roots

First Reading: 1 Corinthians 10:14-22

My beloved ones, avoid idolatry.
I am speaking as to sensible people;
judge for yourselves what I am saying.
The cup of blessing that we bless,
is it not a participation in the Blood of Christ?
The bread that we break,
is it not a participation in the Body of Christ?
Because the loaf of bread is one,
we, though many, are one Body,
for we all partake of the one loaf.

Look at Israel according to the flesh;
are not those who eat the sacrifices participants in the altar?
So what am I saying?
That meat sacrificed to idols is anything?
Or that an idol is anything?
No, I mean that what they sacrifice,
they sacrifice to demons, not to God,
and I do not want you to become participants with demons.
You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and also the cup of demons.
You cannot partake of the table of the Lord and of the table of demons.
Or are we provoking the Lord to jealous anger?
Are we stronger than him?

Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 116:12-13, 17-18

R. (17) To you, Lord, I will offer a sacrifice of praise.
How shall I make a return to the LORD
for all the good he has done for me?
The cup of salvation I will take up,
and I will call upon the name of the LORD.
R. To you, Lord, I will offer a sacrifice of praise.
To you will I offer sacrifice of thanksgiving,
and I will call upon the name of the LORD.
My vows to the LORD I will pay
in the presence of all his people.
R. To you, Lord, I will offer a sacrifice of praise.

Gospel: Luke 6:43-49

Jesus said to his disciples:
“A good tree does not bear rotten fruit,
nor does a rotten tree bear good fruit.
For every tree is known by its own fruit.
For people do not pick figs from thornbushes,
nor do they gather grapes from brambles.
A good person out of the store of goodness in his heart produces good,
but an evil person out of a store of evil produces evil;
for from the fullness of the heart the mouth speaks.

“Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ but not do what I command?
I will show you what someone is like who comes to me,
listens to my words, and acts on them.
That one is like a man building a house,
who dug deeply and laid the foundation on rock;
when the flood came, the river burst against that house
but could not shake it because it had been well built.
But the one who listens and does not act
is like a person who built a house on the ground
without a foundation.
When the river burst against it,
it collapsed at once and was completely destroyed.”

NAB

sept-10

I do not know about you, but today’s Gospel shook me to my roots.

Get it? (Bad mom hair joke.)

But it did get me to thinking about my roots and where I have laid my foundation of faith. Like many of you, it’s been a process. I grew up in the Church. I spent my childhood attending Sunday Mass and all my friends were in CCD. I dutifully checked off the Sacraments. In childhood, my little growing roots were tethered to my parents’ deep roots. Where they went, I followed. They helped me lay my faith foundation through their own examples. And I am eternally grateful for them.

Then I went to college and I had to figure out some things on my own. My foundation of faith, so closely tied to my home life, was shaken. I was starting to bear some pretty rotten fruit. Why go to church every week when no one was “making me”? After a long Saturday night of partying, I did not have to wake up on Sunday ready to go to Mass. I fell away from many aspects of my faith—the outward expressions mostly. I still had faith in my heart, but did I act on it? Not so much.

(Please tell me I am not the only one who has been through this phase.)

Some years ago, after a period of lukewarm inner faith and lack-luster outer faith, I decided to do something about it. I completely dug up and tossed out my weak roots and tended to, grew, and am living out, deep, strong roots. What I have come to find is that this process is never really complete. I have to constantly check on my growth and health of these roots. It’s not just about planting the trees or laying the ground work and walking away. After I’ve been shaken, after I’ve been tested, after life offers so many moments to weaken and abandon these roots, I have to check on them.

I have to be an active participant in my faith. I am finding joy in the journey. I am finding purpose in the process.

[bctt tweet=”I am finding joy in the journey. I am finding purpose in the process. // @substance_soul” username=”blessedisshe__”]

Our faith life needs tending to and we can’t neglect it. What’s feeding your growing roots today? Do you have a close family member or friend who checks in with you about your spiritual health? Are you honest with yourself about your progress?

photo credit

Samantha Aguinaldo-Wetterholm is a wife, mom, and dentist currently living in the Bay Area, California. You can find out more about her here.

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