Daily Reflection – 6/26/19
Jesus said to his disciples: “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but underneath are ravenous wolves. By their fruits you will know them. Do people pick grapes from thorn bushes, or figs from thistles? Just so, every good tree bears good fruit, and a rotten tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a rotten tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire. So by their fruits you will know them.” (Matthew 7:15-20)
Our gospel reading today contains a warning which must have been very relevant in the early Church but has not lost its meaning in our own day.
Prophets who are wolves in sheep’s clothing. On the outside, they seem to have the image of Jesus, his gentleness and love, but in fact they are religious predators, using people for their own ends. There have been unfortunate examples of this in some so-called ‘televangelists’ who, in the name of the Lord Jesus, ripped off countless numbers of trusting people, many of them elderly and not well off, by making them pledge large sums money they could not afford.
How can you recognize them? By their ‘fruits’, by the way they behave and not just by what they say or the claims they make. It is not that difficult to separate the genuine from the false. As Jesus says, it is not possible for a bad tree to consistently produce good fruit nor for a genuinely good tree to produce bad fruit. Very often we have to admit that we try to make a good impression on people and we often try to hide from others what we believe to be our weaknesses.
The other side of wolves in sheep’s clothing is moral relativism and de-sensitivity to the Truth. Everywhere we turn, it seems, we find immorality, abominations against the human person, and violations of human dignity. Abortion and contraception are at the heart of some of the greatest problems facing our society, and the average age which children are being exposed to pornography is eleven. And yet so few seem to care.
We have become so desensitized to immorality that most people barely notice it. It seems that countless television commercials use immoral sexual references or examples to sell their products. It has become a part of our daily lives, yet it is, perhaps, the greatest sin of the modern world. We must stay on guard and look for the wolves, who prowl about in sheep’s clothing. We must be willing to stand up against such injustices and abominations and live for the Truth. We must strive to create a culture of life in which we will see the goodness of God reflected in the human body, not the degradation of humans to mere animals
Prayer of The Day
Father, guide and protector of your people, grant us an unfailing respect for your name, and keep us always in your love. Let us be instruments of truth and love to others. We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
The desire to love and to be loved has been written upon the hearts of all mankind, and it is a far deeper and more intimate desire than any similar one we possess. The world needs true, authentic love. We are called to bring this love to the world; to love our spouses, children, and families as Christ loves the Church, and like Christ, some today are called to literally lay their lives down out of love for the Church as priests and religious. We are called to embrace life, to love it, and to live fully in a common union with Christ. If we take this stand against the culture of death now, we will one day live to see life become victorious. Vitae Victoria Erit!