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By Fr Robert Barron – http://www.wordonfire.org

In the Gospels, we hear Jesus say, “Even now the axe lies at the root of the trees. Therefore every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire.”

It’s a peculiar image in some ways, an axe that cuts to the very roots, leaving no stump behind. But this is the way of Jesus, particularly during Advent. He wants a total renovation of our lives. He wants to get to the roots of our sin and dysfunction, addressing not just the symptoms, but the deep causes.

If your relational life or your sexual life is dysfunctional, Jesus wants to root out the problem and not just change the behavior. If your professional life has become tainted by sin, Jesus wants to cut to the roots of it, in your pride, or fear, or ambition. Perhaps there is a pattern of violence in your behavior. Christ wants to get to the envy or greed that lies behind it.

Jesus will separate what is life-giving and nourishing in us from what is merely chaff. We are always a mix, but as we move through Advent, we must not settle for a halfway spiritual life.