Life can bring us many challenges as we all know. Today’s Gospel from Matthew 7:15-20 has a warning from Jesus for us. He says … “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but underneath are ravenous wolves.” How can we actually know a prophet from a false prophet? Jesus says … “By their fruits you will know them.”
Are we a good tree or a bad tree? Jesus continues … “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.” This passage has led me to examine the kind of fruit that I bear. I thought about the fruit of the Holy Spirit which are Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Generosity, Faithfulness, Gentleness, Self-Control, Modesty and Chastity.
By worldly standards, I am pretty good in most. By God’s standards I am not really sure where I stand. I realize I am still on the journey. A friend posted this prayer from Thomas Merton yesterday on Facebook and I thought it was a perfect prayer to end today’s reflection …
“My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going. I do not see the road ahead of me. I cannot know for certain where it will end. Nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think that I am following your will does not mean that I am actually doing so. But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you. And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing. I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire. And I know that if I do this you will lead me by the right road though I may know nothing about it. Therefore, I will trust you always though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death. I will not fear, for you are ever with me, and you will never leave me to face my perils alone.”