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The wolves in sheep's clothing

Using a recent Sunday’s gospel reading from Matthew 7:15-21, I realized just how much I love the timelessness of the Bible. God's words are true. Here is the scripture reading referenced: "15. Be on your guard against false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but underneath are wolves on the prowl. 16. You will know them by their deeds. Do you ever pick grapes from the throne bushes or figs from prickly plants? Never! 17. Any sound tree bears good fruit, while a decayed tree bears bad fruit. 18. A sound tree cannot bear bad fruit any more than a decayed tree can bear good fruit. 19. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20. You can tell a tree by its fruit. 21. None of those who cry out, "Lord, Lord," will enter the kingdom of God but only the one who does the will of my father in heaven.

What makes these words so timeless? It gives us a path stone to discern, who is telling the truth and who is a deceiver. I find it particularly challenging in this digital age to find trusted sources and people who claim to have the "truth." I find it hard to "know" who someone is and what exactly is their track record. Sadly, sometimes unwilling people are made to be the “sharer” of false truth. I have also realized that some people are not people at all, but social bots. Nevertheless, our Lord never leaves us without help. His words in this scripture reading are the litmus test and especially useful navigating today’s world. Jesus, in this parable, directs His followers to look and understand the obvious. What is a person saying? Does it lead to confusion or truth? The confusing or gray language that changes daily and is never the truth. People use this type of communication to hide or distort conversations and create “facts.” Take a look at a person’s track record. People are not perfect, but trustworthy people are usually upfront with their mistakes.

Humility and humbleness are two great virtues and ask yourself, does this person admit mistakes, or are they too busy making sure they come out on top? Do they speak from their heart or just a voice for the “repeated line.” Beware of those who gain your trust only to exploit your weakness later. Sometimes change looks good, but what are you giving up? Beauty and truth can only come from those who hold grace and truth - Not pretenders. God is pleased with a person who is humble and displays humility because it reduces our pride. The ability to acquire this virtue shows a higher level of spirituality.

A fig from a fig tree is not so easy to see these days. If we ask, God will reveal the real fruit of the tree. May these words be of comfort and support your spiritual growth. Remember you are always free to comment on this website.

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