62. Fruit of love.
Just as a fruit is formed as a result of the union of two gametes, so also the fruit of love is formed as a result of the union of the word of God with the Spirit in our inner man. Therefore it is rightly called the 'fruit of the Spirit'. 'The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.'(Galatians 5:22-23) The Holy Spirit is the one who takes care of the vineyard and therefore pleads with the master who planted a fig tree in his vineyard: "Leave it alone for one more year and I will dig around it and fertilize it. If it bears fruit next year, fine! If not, then cut it down." (Luke 13:6-8) The master is looking for the fig tree to bear fruit even when it is not the season for figs! 'Seeing in the distance a fig tree in leaf, he went to find out if it had any fruit. When he reached it he found nothing but leaves because it was not the season for figs. Then he said to the tree, "May no one ever eat fruit from you again."' (Mark 11:13-14) We are expected to bear fruit in season and out of season because the fruit of the Spirit has no seasons! It is said of the tree of life: 'Every month they will bear because the water from the sanctuary flows to them.' (Ezekiel 47:12, Revelation 22:2) We are 'a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor' (Isaiah 61:3) and he expects us to the very fruitful. "I am the true Vine and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful ... This is to my Father's glory that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples."(John 15:1-8) Amen.