June 26, 2019 – Wednesday of the 12th Week in OT
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 thornbushes, 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.”
The Gospel of the Lord.
Jesus warned his disciples of the presence of the false prophet who will bring confusion among them. This person is pretentious and lives a life filled with lies and shadows. Yet, a false prophet can be so entertaining, fascinating, persuasive and convincing. The false prophet’s words sound wonderful and filled with big promises. However, the fruits of the actions and words of the false prophet only bring destruction and death.
This is the reason why Jesus wanted his disciples to be more discerning in listening to different voices around them. When a disciple is not attentive and discerning to the many inputs, he or she may be led easily to believe to fake news.
In today’s context, a false prophet may appear to us as a real or virtual person who may persuade us to believe in their false hopes, false alarms and fake news especially with what is happening in our community today. The intention of persuading us to believe has certainly contained hidden selfish agenda. But beware of these and be discerning because such actions will only bring us to division.
Moreover, such false prophets can also take the form of the empty promises of our various addictions. Gambling, alcohol, drugs, sex, shopping, excessive Internet usage may promise to fill our empty and hallow hearts that long for attention and care, recognition and acceptance, affection and love. These forms of false prophets may also seduce us to believe that these addictions and unhealthy coping mechanisms may provide relief from the pain that we feel, pain of losing a loved one, of heartbreak, of rejection, or of failure and guilt.
Jesus wants us to only listen to Him because all these various forms of false prophets will surely not bring us to life and freedom but rather to slavery and death. The Lord desires that we become free and alive.
Thus, Jesus invites us today to be discerning, as we are bombarded everyday with many inputs from the outside. Listen also to the voice within us that will point us to come closer to God. Seek and listen to those people and other forms of media-communication that will bring you closer to Jesus and will help you to know yourself and him better.
If you realize that this kind of person, media site, or attitude of yours does not bring you closer to God but away from Him, away from yourself and from other people, then, beware because that will only bring you to destruction.
As we make the effort of listening and following the voice of Jesus, we will certainly also find the way to freedom and way to fullness of life. Hinaut pa.
Jom Baring, CSsR