We have probably all heard the saying at one time or another in our lives, ‘you are what you eat.’ To a certain extent this is true – if a person eats junk food all of the time they will get fat and become very unhealthy. On the other hand, if a person is always eating good food they will become strong and healthy. This is an analogy for what we read in today’s Gospel where Jesus is telling the Pharisees to believe in what he does even if they do not believe in who he says he is! That is, Jesus is telling them that they ought to be able to see who he is by the works that he does and even if they do not want to believe what these works tell them about him, they must still believe in the works, as they are indisputable.

In the same way we Christians must always seek to give witness to the world through the way and manner we live our lives. It is imperative for the work and success of the Gospel proclamation that Christians actually be who they proclaim to be – the people the Gospel calls us to be. If our lives give witness to the truth of the Gospel then those who do not believe in Christ will not be able to refute us on the grounds that we fail to practice what we preach! Jesus is the perfect example for us in this as his life is the perfect example of what he preaches. Jesus knows this and thus he engages the Pharisees, the Jews, on these grounds, in order that they will be unable to refute what he tells them!

Actions often speak louder than words! They define us far more powerfully than speaking any words can ever do. It is important that we realize that our actions define and form our character as men and women and thus we become a concrete witness to a set of beliefs according to the way we live our lives. Jesus knows that if he lives according to God’s will his life will speak out the truth through his actions and not just his words. As St Francis of Assisi is known to have said to his brothers, “Go and proclaim the Gospel … use words if necessary!’ It is who we are and what we do that people will experience first and foremost of our lives. Let us make sure that what they see and experience will lead them to Jesus and not in the opposite direction.

Am I conscious that every thing I do and say contributes to the making of my moral character? Are there aspects of my life I need to transform so that they will better reflect my Christian beliefs?

Holy Spirit, open my heart to the power of your grace so that I will draw strength from you rather than seek to accomplish what I need to do in my own strength.