Prayer: O Jesus, teach me to be on guard lest I be deceived.
Imagination: (Picture Jesus teaching his disciples.)
Matthew tries to protect and form his church members. He protects them by warning against false prophets who can lead them astray. He forms them by demanding a life that brings forth good deeds.
Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.)
Beware of false prophets who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. By their fruits you shall know them. Do men gather grapes from thorns or figs from thistles?
Every good tree brings forth good fruit and every evil tree brings forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth bad fruit nor a bad tree bring forth good fruit.
Every tree that does not bring forth good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire. By their fruits you shall know them.
Thoughts: (Read all. Ponder the ones that attract you.)
- In Jesus’ time, people claiming to be true prophets, led the people astray.
- The Holy Spirit of Pentecost raised up true prophets to guide the people.
- Today, we have both true and false prophets.
- The true prophet proclaims Jesus as Lord and exalts him.
- The false prophet points to himself and his own greatness.
- Follow the true prophet and bring forth good fruit in your life. Otherwise, you will be cut down and thrown into the fire.
Affections: (When one touches your heart, use your own words.)
- O Jesus, let your true voice sound loudly in my heart.
- Send me your true friends to speak your word to me.
- You are the Lord. I exalt you and follow you. Lead me wherever you wish.
- O Jesus, so many voices lead me astray. Help me.
- I will follow your Church, the voice of the true prophet.
- O Jesus, I will bring forth fruit and you will not cut me down.
Resolutions: (Possibly you might want to make your own.)
- I will examine who leads me to God and will follow them.
- I will find some minutes for inner stillness to listen to God’s word.
Thought for the day: (To recall your meditation)
Every good tree brings forth good fruit.