03 July 2016

Our Lord's Warning Today

The Gospel for the Seventh Sunday after Pentecost:

Matt. 7:15-21

At that time, Jesus said to His disciples: "Beware of false prophets, who come to you in the clothing of sheep, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. By their fruits you shall know them. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit, and the evil tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can an evil tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit, shall be cut down, and shall be cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits you shall know them. Not every one that saith to me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven: but he that doth the will of my Father who is in heaven, he shall enter into the kingdom of heaven."

In the Gospel of the day, Jesus directs our attention to the “false prophets” who appear “in the clothing of sheep, but inwardly are ravening wolves.” There are many who claim to be teachers in spiritual or moral matters, but 
they are false teachers because their works do not correspond to their words. It is easy, in fact, to speak well, but it is not easy to live well. Sometimes false doctrines are offered to us, even though they may not seem false at first because they have the appearance of truth. Thus any doctrine which, in the name of an evangelical principle, offends other doctrines is false: for example, that which in the name of compassion for individuals does harm to the common good, or that which in the name of charity sanctions injustice or leads to a neglect of obedience to lawful superiors. Equally false is any doctrine which tends to make us lax, disturbs peace and harmony, or under the pretext of a greater good, brings about dissension between superiors and subjects, or does not submit to the voice of authority. Jesus would like us to be as “simple as doves, ” averse to criticism and severe judgments of our neighbor; but He also wants us to be as “wise as serpents”, so as not to let ourselves be deceived by false appearances of good which hide dangerous snares. 

-- from Divine Intimacy, by Fr. Gabriel of St. Mary Magdalen, OCD

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