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Jesus in the Gospel today speaks about cutting trees. Trees in the scriptures is not compared to life just like how we compare it in our society. So we must understand here that he is not talking about taking away life of individuals. The tree is more of a symbol of faith, of teaching, of education, of belief. Remember Nathaniel and the fig tree? When Jesus told him that "before Philip called you, when you were under the fig tree, I saw you" He was not pertaining to the physical tree but rather he is pertaining to the education of Nathaniel in the Laws and the Prophet. To sit under the fig tree is an icon of the rabbinic education. Remember the tree of knowledge of good and bad in genesis how it was described and what was it? Remember the cursed fig tree? It is not cursing life, he was cursing the faith and practice that bears no fruit. And many other examples that I can mention to you here. But I guess you already get my point and get the idea why in the first part of the Gospel Jesus was talking about false prophets, false teachings before he talks about cutting trees or talks about bad and good trees and its fruits.

Bad teachings and bad faith do not bear good fruit my dear friends. They do not produce good faith. Ahh! The more we can understand now why in the first reading, the King, upon hearing and knowing what is truly written in the book that they have discovered, changed, ripped off his garments and decided to change ways. For what is written in the Law and the Prophets is what the Lord God wants them to be. The king made a covenant before the LORD that they would follow him and observe his ordinances, statutes and decrees with their whole hearts and souls, thus reviving the terms of the covenant which were written in this book. And all the people stood as participants in the covenant.

As we continue our Eucharistic celebration, let us ask the Lord that He would continually teach us the way of  His decrees just as we have said in the responsorial Psalm: Teach me the way of your decrees, O Lord. Let us cut our wrong beliefs, let us always be guided only by the Word of God and by His decrees.

NOTE: For non Filipino readers of this blog, Kaingin is a tagalog term for deforestation using fire. Its an easier method than cutting trees one by one. By doing a "kaingin", you clean everything in the mountain


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