Reading and meditation on the Word of God, Wednesday of the 12th week in ordinary time

June 23, 2021

Reading is delivered by Mayolisia Ekayanti from Saint Ann Church of Duren Sawit in Jakarta, Indonesia and meditation delivered by Brother Franco, SDB from Salesian School of Theology in Manila, Philippines

Genesis 15: 1-12.17-18; Rs psalm 105: 1-2.3-4.6-7.8-9; Matthew 7: 15-20

The reading is taken from the holy Gospel according to Matthew

Jesus said to his disciples:
“Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing,
but underneath are ravenous wolves.
By their fruits you will know them.
Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles?
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.
Every tree that does not bear good fruit will be cut down
and thrown into the fire.
So by their fruits you will know them.”

The Gospel of the Lord.

The theme for our meditation today is: We Can Get Rid of Ravenous Wolves in Sheep’s Clothing. This phrase “A wolf in sheep’s clothing” is familiar to us. The following illustration can help us to reflect on what is meant by ravenous wolves in sheep’s clothing. It has been for about 6 months that the mothers from the parish community have formed a group commonly known as the women’s social gathering. That comprised of women of the same profession, namely the housewives.

The unity in the group at certain point started shaken because of the storm from within. Two of the group’s members were the gossipers. These two women were actually the leaders of the group and well respected. All other members actually loved to listen and to follow them. However, it was very disappointing to finally discover that all the rumors and fake messages involved around actually came from those two mothers. They definitely deserved to be called the ravenous wolves in sheep’s clothing.

The wolf is a wild animal that reflects the nature of man which has the potential to endanger and to destroy life. Human reason is a basic faculty in man that can play with mask in order to cover up any weakness or mistake in it, and what is always visible to others is a good and attractive aspect of it. This is reflected by the sheep’s wool which is always smooth, nice and beautiful. The original nature or character of man is actually cruel and evil like wolf and yet covered by the outer cloth which apparently nice like sheep’s wool.

Jesus advises us to be always alert and careful of false prophets who like to disguise themselves as good people. They always look good, but in fact they are ravenous wolves. Their way of life and their manners to live in the society really prove that they are evil. Maybe they seem good at talking, praying, fasting, and teaching other people. Perhaps their knowledge in spiritual aspect is so convincing and understandable. But in the end it is a real life that speaks about the quality of man and not theory or visibility and appearance.

The most useless and dangerous way of this particular lifestyle is when it leads other people astray, that those people do not find the true path to follow until they reach God. This is what Jesus absolutely condemns. The Pharisees and Scribes were the people of this type. They had received punishment from Jesus. And for us, we must be always vigilant to every form of disguise made that claims it is the Lord. We must reject it. Abram really believed in God. The divine promise would be fulfilled. Abram’s own descendant would inherit all his spiritual and material wealth. Since the moment of that covenant, God’s truth has been the point held faithfully by generation after generation. There is no falsehood in this covenant.

Let’s pray. In the name of the Father… O Lord, keep us always in Your mind and strengthen us with Your power, so that we can dispel every form of falsehood in this world that wants to bring us away from You. Hail Mary full of grace… In the name of the Father…

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