Wednesday of the 12th Week of the Year

Matt 7:15-20

False Prophets


In one retreat given to laity, the priest asked: “What is more important when attending a Sunday Mass in church, is it in ‘going inside’ or ‘going outside?’” many of the listeners would have answered, “going inside.”

But then this is rather incomplete. “Going outside” is equally important. The Word of God we hear we have to bring home with us and to let it “bear fruits” in our lives and in the lives of others.

The gospel tells us that a good tree always bears good fruit while a rotten tree bears bad fruit. “A good tree cannot bear bad fruit nor can rotten tree bears a good fruit.” This means that one who professes to follow and to love Christ must be able to imitate and to live like Him, too, in his/her life. It is rather sad to observe that we are all proud to love Jesus in our hearts but not able to love those whom Jesus loved so much, especially the poor. We ask God to forgive us but we are slow to forgive others when they hurt us. We like God to be generous and kind to us but we can be so selfish even to share the little things we have with others.

Following Jesus entails not only knowing Him but also being able to do and to speak what He exactly did and spoke during His time. Let our words, works and behavior be genuinely inspired by the standards of the Lord Jesus. (Fr. Gerry Donato, SVD Bible Diary 2002)


Early 2003 the world had its eyes focused on the UN, on President Bush and the USA and on Iraq. As a religious woman, I know how important it is to discern with others which voice to follow… which spirit is calling.

Nowadays, it seems easy to follow false prophets. They may not wear sheep’s clothing, they may not speak sugar-coated words but they make promises and they lead people in the wrong direction, to the path of destruction, to war, to violence, hatred and terrorism. Often, this is done in the name of power and money, but also often even in the name of God. We read and hear of and even experience theses realities in our country. We have Muslim rebels, the Abus, the MNLF and the NPAs. They take up arms, make war and leave destruction and death along their paths. Thus we may be tempted to think that they are the false prophets of the ones who follow false prophets.

How about us who are called Christians? Does the world recognize us by our fruits, like our efforts to reach out in true dialogue with those who are different from us? Or do we consider ourselves above them?

“By their fruits you will know them…” do our lives bear the fruits of integrity, truth, love and peace? Indeed, do our lives speak credibly of the reign of God? (Sr. Fatima Manding, SVD Bible Diary 2004)


How can I distinguish a good person from a bad person, a deceiver from an honest person, a teacher of falsehood from a teacher of truth? Sometimes it is hard to judge the character of another. A former confrere, for example, volunteered to help. He was quite smooth but ended up being cheated. A young lady at first appearance seemed proud. Then later she appeared as the most meek and humble of persons. I too was misled by a theologian teaching novelties.

Have you not bee deceived, cheated, misled?

Jesus in the gospel takes up the problem of knowing what kind of person we are dealing with. He gives us the way of telling who is good and who is bad. He tells us not to judge by appearances. The devil, we would not listen to Him. Although he is wolf bent on doing harm, he appears not as a wolf but in sheep’s clothing.

A fruit tree is known, says Jesus, by the kind of fruit it produces. If it produces small sour fruit, it is wild tree. If it produces large delicious sweet fruit, it is a good tree and so with persons. If a person does evil, he is evil. If he does good deeds, he is good. A single deed may not suffice to know the person. It is how he lives and the kind of fruit he produces day after day. Although he may sin out of weakness on some particular situations, if he repents and continuously does good again, he is a good person. If a person continually, for example, he lies, cheats, is cruel (even though he may do good deed for his mother) he is bad.

Yes, by their fruits, you shall know them. To know which fruits a person produces may take some patience; but with patient inquiry and observation, we may avoid being deceived, cheated or misled. (Fr. Stan Pluts, SVD Bible Diary 2005)


Kung ano ang puno siya ang bunga.” Who we are tells much about where we come from – parents, school and environment. Sons and daughters who made it good or bad reflect the parental nurture they received. If a son is wayward, a drug dependent and a womanizer, what makes of the father or the mother? But is this always the case? Many cases too that a hardworking father, for instance, begets a lazy son or daughter. Which means that nurture can either be accepted and rejected, depending on the cooperation of the recipient of nurture.

We are all children of God. The gospel invites us to be God-like. God is the Tree of Life and we are the fruits. We can always choose to become bitter or good fruits. Bitter because, of our selfishness. Good because, like the tree we come from, we hope to become nurturing and self-giving. (Frt. Ketchie Rex Barrantes, SVD Bible Diary 2006)


June 22, 2016 Wednesday

There are plenty of mango trees in Palawan. During the fruiting season beautiful and big mangoes are a common sight. However, people may not take any mango fruit or seedling out of the island province because the trees are infected with weevil. A ripe mango fruit is likely to have weevil larvae embedded inside. Weevil larvae are very destructive to plants and grains.

“See, how they love one another!” This was a beautiful description of the first Christians made by those who observed them. People saw how they loved and served one another. Certainly, the first Christians were known by their fruits, their acts of love and service to one another and to others.

Church leaders, both the hierarchy and the laity, have been harping on the importance of family and family values. Unfortunately, many parents have been remiss in their responsibility of rearing their children according God’s plan. To some extent, parents have abdicated their role as models to their children. Now, we see many children who turn out to be problematic because of lack of parental guidance. Parents are supposed to act as prophets to their kids, but sad to say, some have become false prophets, false teachers to their kids because of their bad example As we honor today the two martyrs, St. Thomas More and St. John Fisher, we would like to ask for their intercession, that, like them, we may be able to act as true prophets to the world, resisting anything contrary to the will of God. (Fr. Antonio O. Pegon, SVD Tagaytay City Bible Diary 2016)


ROOTS (2Kings 22:8-13/Matt 7:16): the two readings are related to each other. The first reading talks about roots. It tells of how King Josiah accidentally discovered a part of the written Law of Moses. With this discovery, he realized how far his people have gone and how different they have become from their roots and origin. In remembering our roots, we must also remember how good we should have become.

The gospel, on the other hand, speaks of fruits coming from the same tree. The depth of the roots is judged according to the sweetness of the fruits. If the roots of the tree have not sunk deep enough into the ground, it is very likely that this tree will bear no fruits. Tree that are deeply rooted always bear good and sweet fruits.

Today, the Lord invites us to look into the trees of our lives. First let us remember our roots. Remember the first time you decided to come to Mass daily. Recall your graduation from the Cursillo or the Life in the Spirit Seminar. Return to that day of renewal when you told the Lord, “Lord, I want to be good.” What has happened since then? What has happened since then? If we have to be honest and candid with ourselves, we must admit that we have deviated from  become too sour.

Let us beg the Lord for the grace to be able to look back and discover again the grace of innocence. Let us beg the Lord that as we sink our roots more deeply unto Him, we may bear the fruits expected of us. (Socrates Villegas, Jesus in my Heart, p. 103)


In today’s gospel Jesus uses two images to warn us against false prophets. One is the image of wolves in sheep’s clothing. The other one is the image of trees and the kind of fruit they bear. Both images warn us not to be fooled by appearances. Since we live in an age when outward show is considered very important, this is a great instruction for us. We need to look more deeply and not be impressed by a lot of empty show. What the world thinks is good fruit is not the same as what God thinks is good fruit. Worldly measure of good fruit might mean becoming more beautiful, wealthier, having more possessions or faster cars, having more admirers or fame. It does not work that way in the spiritual life. The measure of fruit in the spiritual life is how much we love God and our neighbour.

Looking at Abram, we see that he produced much good fruit because of his great faith. In today’s first reading, he wasn’t questioning the Lord’s actions, but, like Mary at the Annunciation, wanted to know how the Lord was going to work out His promise. Abram did not perform great miracles or many public acts but he believed even in the impossibilities of his situation and was faithful to the Lord’s leading.

Today (June 22) we celebrate the faithfulness of St. John Fisher and St. Thomas More, two prominent Englishmen who were martyred for the faith.  They stood firmly against false teaching and held on to moral truth. There were many Catholics in England at the time of Henry VIII. When the king defied the Church, very few remained Catholic.  All the bishops left the Pope except, John Fisher. Thomas More was a humanist, internationally known, and rose to the rank of chancellor of the realm. John Fisher and Thomas More opposed the king and followed a conscience conviction of what was right; they put their trust in the Lord. They would make no compromise when it came to matters of conscience, no compromise when it came to truth. They knew that to violate their conscience would be like cutting themselves in half, and would violate their covenant with God.

We must expect some conflict if we are serious about living a Christian life ion the world that often scorns Christian values. When we face criticism or rejection for remaining true tyo our conscience, let us call on the intercession of these two great martyrs and follow their inspiring example. That is how we can bear good fruit. (Pondering the Word the Anawim Way, from June 12, 2011 to July 23, 2011 Cycle A-Year I pp. 60-61)


REAL DISCIPLES: “Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.” – Matthew 7:20

Somebody called me one day and gave me great business news. She had prospective buyers who were running for public office and who needed supplies of T-shirts by the millions. I jumped at the offer and I delegated it to a friend to make it happen.

After weeks of middleman work, he finally closed a deal between a seller and a buyer. But after settling on the price, their buyer didn’t want to produce any written evidence of the money they had. They wanted to pay for the shirts in cold cash!

My friend became suspicious. Why didn’t the buyer want to produce any paper trail? Were they hiding anything? Where would the money be coming from? My friend did some investigation and learned that the money might be coming from illegal gambling in provinces, local barrios and the slums.

It was a P30 million-deal he had to turn down. He could have earned millions in an instant, but I know my friend’s heart wasn’t in the material things; it was in the process and the purpose by which he would use these blessings.

By far, my friend showed me what real discipleship meant. Migs Ramirez (

REFLECTION: “Every good tree bears good fruit, and a rotten tree bears bad fruit.” Do you live with integrity even in the small details of your life?

Lord, teach me to be a true disciple by upholding my integrity even when nobody is watching. Amen.



We have to remember that the Jewish people were exiled twice, by the Assyrians and the Babylonians. On their return from exile they would have found the city largely in ruins and with many of their sacred ornaments and vessels destroyed or stolen, including the scrolls of Scripture. The Books of Nehemiah and Ezra detail the return from the Babylonian exile and the finding of a scroll of the Law, too. We begin to see how central to the Jewish faith the Word of God is.2 Kings 22:8-13; 23:1-3

GOSPEL: Any individual or community needs good discernment practices. This is where we fail most often as disciples of Jesus — not discerning well what we think the will of God is for our lives. This is at the same time a relatively simple and difficult process. It is difficult as there are so many voices and ideas competing for our attention; it is simple because all we really need to do is judge an idea against the Word of God and the teachings and traditions of the Church.

Matthew 7:15-20

think:  Any individual or community needs good discernment practices.


FALSE PROPHETS: A tree loaded with fruits is an attractive sight, wouldn’t you agree? It speaks to us of being a healthy tree, planted in good soil and well-maintained. If the tree has rotten fruit on it, we say that the soil is not good or it is infested by insects and pests. What a shame it would be to cut down the tree if it does not bear fruit. Jesus is very clever when it comes to proclaiming the Kingdom of God. Many of His parables are agricultural in nature so as to help people grasp His message.

Jesus likens a prophet to a tree, good or bad. There were many prophets in Jesus’ time, and still nowadays, that are after their own selfish gains. A prophet who speaks peace, faith, hope and love is good while a false prophet only sows hatred, resentment and division. Jesus says that by the fruits you will know them. So many of our brothers and sisters in the Christian faith easily follow a false prophet who disguises himself as good, gentle and wise.

In the community that Matthew writes for, and noticeably in the writings of Paul, many men seek to ruin the conversion of the new Christians through their stance on keeping the Jewish laws and customs. Jesus came to bring a new wine, a new teaching, a new way of living.

If our faith is weak, it will become extremely easy for us to be swayed by the popularity of others. We will become easily convinced of their ways and will find ourselves on the wrong track. We need to be a people developed and well-informed in our consciences through the teachings of the Church, the Magisterium and Sacred Tradition, the wise leaders and those faithful to the Gospel. Let us use every means to grow in our faith and morals. Fr. Brian Steele, MGL

REFLECTION QUESTION: What governs you in making decisions or living the Christian life?

Lord, teach me Your decrees and keep my eyes from what is false. Amen.


WEDNESDAY OF THE 12TH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME (YEAR A) – MATEO 7:15-20. Kinsa man ang usa ka propeta? Ang propeta mao ang tawo nga magdala’g mensahe sa ngalan sa Ginoo. Pinaagi sa bunyag, matag usa kanato nahimong propeta, adunay bokasyon sa pagsangyaw sa mensahe ni Kristo ngadto sa uban. Ang kaakohan sa pagkapropeta atong matuman diha sa lain-laing kahimtang sa atong kinabuhi – diha sa pamilya, tulonghaan, opisina, o kaha merkado. Si Kristo naghisgot mahitungod sa mga mini nga propeta. Kinsa man kini sila? Sila kadtong magsangyaw sa mensahe sa Dios apan wala magpuyo niini. Sila ang mga tawo nga maayo lang manudlo o mamadlong, apan ang kinabuhi hilabihan kasalawayon. Ang tinuod nga propeta mao kadtong magsangyaw, una sa tanan, pinaagi sa buhat, ug kon ugaling gikinahanglan pa, pinaagi sa pulong. Posted by Abet Uy


Tuesday, June 21, 2016

WEDNESDAY OF THE 12TH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME (YEAR C) – PAMALANDONG Hunyo 22, 2016 MATEO 7:15-20. KINSA MAN ANG MAAYONG PROPETA? Ang propeta mao ang tawo nga magdala’g mensahe sa ngalan sa Ginoo. Pinaagi sa bunyag, matag usa kanato nahimong propeta, adunay bokasyon sa pagsangyaw sa mensahe ni Kristo ngadto sa uban. Ang kaakohan sa pagkapropeta atong matuman diha sa lain-laing kahimtang sa kinabuhi– sa pamilya, tulonghaan, opisina, o kaha merkado. Si Kristo naghisgot mahitungod sa mga mini nga propeta. Kinsa man kini sila? Sila kadtong magsangyaw sa mensahe sa Dios apan wala magpuyo niini. Sila ang mga tawo nga maayo lang manudlo o mamadlong, apan ang kinabuhi salawayon. Ang tinuod nga propeta mao kadtong magsangyaw pinaagi sa buhat, ug kon kinahanglanon lamang, pinaagi sa pulong. Sakto ang pahimangno: “Don’t let your lips and your life preach two different messages.” Posted by Abet Uy


June 22, 2016

REFLECTION: Among the three saints we are remembering today, Thomas More stands out as particularly interesting, especially for lay people.

Born in 1477 of a middle class family, he was educated at Oxford, became a lawyer, married and had four children. He also frequented humanists such as Erasmus, took an interest in literature, published a famous work of fiction entitled Utopia (1516), while making his mark as a lawyer. Eventually King Henry VIII noticed him and made him one of his counselors, knighted him in 1521 and made him Lord Chancellor of England in 1529. Meanwhile Henry VIII was seeking to divorce his wife, Catherine of Aragon, with the permission of the Pope. The latter refused to grant the divorce and the king severed all connections with Rome, declaring himself the Head on earth of the Church of England. More sided with the Pope and was arrested in 1534, tried for treason, and executed by decapitation on July 6, 1535. He died after joking merrily with his executioner, affirming that he died “the king’s good servant, but God’s first.” St. Thomas More exemplifies the well-educated layman who combined learning, sense of humor, and profound spirituality.


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See Today’s Readings:  Year I,   Year II

Back to: Wednesday of the 12th Week of the Year

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