June 28, 2017
Mt 7: 15-20
“Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thorns, or figs from thistles? In the same way, every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus you will know them by their fruits.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
By their Fruits You will Know Them
“So by their fruits you will know them.” Jesus’ analogy to his disciples in this seventh chapter of Matthew was probably very familiar to the people in this agricultural society. Jesus invites us, here, to reflect on the words and actions of others, as well as our own. Jesus seems to be warning us against false prophets, and perhaps also inviting us to examine the fruit we are bearing.
How can we tell true prophets? How can we identify those who may be hypocrites? St. Ignatius writes that “love ought to show itself in deeds, rather than words.” Our words and intentions are important, but our actions are really the “fruit” of our interior life.
Is there an area where God is inviting me to examine and realign in my own life and actions? Who are true prophets in my life, who exemplify “good fruit,” that I seek to emulate?
Lord, help us to find prophets in our own lives who bear “good fruit” through their actions. May we know them, may we emulate them, and may we ourselves be prophets to others.
—The Jesuit Prayer team
THE POPE'S PRAYERS
Daily ExamenThe examen is a prayer popularized by St. Ignatius Loyola that helps us to recognize the ways that God is present and active in our daily lives.
- Stillness: Quiet yourself. Close your eyes and be still. Remember that in this moment you are in God’s presence and that God is now loving you. Take time to let yourself be looked at by the Lord.
- Gratitude: Take a few moments to recall one or two things from today for which you are especially grateful. Give thanks to God for these gifts and take time to savor them.
- Review: Review the events of the past day from start to finish, as if you were watching a movie. Notice the ways that God has been present today. Pay attention to your emotions and stirrings within your heart.
- Sorrow: As you have reflected upon your day, you may have noticed a moment from the day in which you have fallen short. Bring this experience to prayer and ask for God’s healing and forgiveness.
- Looking Forward: Look ahead to the next day and ask for God’s help and grace as you move forward with activities, commitments, and interactions with others. When you are ready, conclude your examen with the Our Father.
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