A reading from the gospel of Matthew 7:15-20
Jesus said to his disciples:
15 “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but underneath are ravenous wolves.
16 By their fruits, you will know them. Do people pick grapes from thorn bushes or figs from thistles?
17 Just so, every good tree bears good fruit, and a rotten tree bears bad fruit.
18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a rotten tree bear good fruit.
19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire.
20 So by their fruits, you will know them.”
Reflection: Bearing Fruit
Every farmer expects his trees to bear fruit. Imagine his great disappointment when harvest time comes and he cannot even recoup his investment because some trees did not bear fruit.
The same is true with God. His words are seeds. He expects his words to make a positive result on those who hear them. He expects His children not just to bear fruit but to bear good fruits.
The gospel today warns us to be aware of hypocritical people who claim to have faith in God yet behave like wild animals. Our faith must show itself outwardly in our behavior. As believers, we love our neighbors as ourselves and observe the beatitudes. Moreover, we must show our gifts of the Spirit of wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety, and fear of the Lord. This is the only way by which other people will know that we are true witnesses of the Lord.
Nowadays, people are spending more and more time with their cellphones or computers browsing the internet and/or reading social media posts. Based on so many complaints, no one can deny that trolls and other fakes news peddlers have already swarmed social media. Of course, there are still real people who try to convince us of some alternative gospels. These are the modern false prophets that Jesus is talking about in our gospel today. They are the wolves that want to poison people with their lies in order to promote their own hidden agenda. All Christians and other religious faiths must unite to combat them. Let us be the true prophets and we must never waiver in our mission to proclaim the truth of the gospel.
To be remiss in our obligation as truth warriors is to be cut down because we have neglected to bear fruit. That is why in our quest to fight falsehood with truth, we pray unceasingly that God may grant us the courage and the wisdom to effectively perform our duties as bearers of the good news.