Ordinary Time: July 7th
GOSPEL (Matt. VII. 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.
Who are the false Prophets?
Those seducers who under an appearance of virtue and honesty lure
innocent, simple souls from the right path, and lead them to vice
and shame; who by sweet words, such as: "God , is full of love, and
will not be severe on sin, He does not require so very much of us,
He knows we are weak, and if a person sins, he can be converted,"
seek to steal from souls all modesty and fear, of God. Guard against
such hypocrites, for they have the poison of vipers on their
tongues. By the false prophets are also understood those who
propagate error, who by superficial words fade the true faith, who
speak always of love and liberty, and who under the pretense of
making people free and happy bring many a soul to doubt and error,
depriving it of true faith and peace of heart.
How can we know the false prophets?
By their works; for evil, corrupted men can produce only bad fruit.
If we look into their life we will find that at heart they are
immoral hypocrites who observe external propriety only that they may
the more easily spread their poison. The false teachers and
messengers of error may be known by their lives, but especially by
their intentions, which are to subvert all divine order, and to put
the unrestrained lust of the flesh and tyranny in its place.
Who else are understood by the false prophets?
Those who under pretense of making men happy and rich, induce the
credulous to make use of superstition, of wicked arts, deceit, and
injustice; especially those who under he deceiving appearance of
liberty and equality, independence and public good, incite them to
open or secret revolt against civil and ecclesiastical authority.
Be not deceived by these so-called public benefactors who look
always to their own advantage, but trust in God, support yourself
honestly, live like a Christian, and you will find true liberty and
happiness here and hereafter.
Why does Christ say: "Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit,
shall be cut down, and shall be cast into the fire?"
He warns us that faith without good works is not sufficient for
salvation; and he therefore adds; Not every one that saith: Lord,
Lord (who outwardly professes himself my servant, but is not really
such) shall enter into the kingdom of heaven, but he who, (by the
fulfillment of the duties of his state of life and by the practice of good works), does the will of my Father, merits heaven. Strive
then, Christian soul, to fulfill God's will in all things, perform
your daily duties with a good intention, and you will certainly
obtain the kingdom of heaven.