Read Genesis 15:1-12,17-18, Ps. 105:1-4,6-9, Matthew 7:15-20

“Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves.”(Matthew 7:15)

The difference between a good and bad tree is not its shape, size, age or colour. Rather, it is the fruits it produces. A tree may appear very nice outside, but it is bad if it bears rotten fruits or fails to produce any fruits. It is easy to pretend. It is easy to deceive others. It is easy to be a wolf in sheep’s clothing, but then, no matter how much we pretend to be who we are not, our fruits will sell us out.

Jesus told the Samaritan woman: “The hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for such the Father seeks to worship him.” (John 4:23). When we worship God in spirit and truth, our Christian commitment will begin to bear fruit, but if we are only concerned about putting up appearances, we are no different from the hypocrites that Jesus condemned.

In today’s first reading, Abram is in conversation with God. When God told him to look at the stars and consider their number as his descendants, Abram believed it completely. His faith in God was credited to him as righteousness. Abram’s faith bore great fruits. The life of Abram continues to remain an inspiration to both Christians and Jews thousands of years after his death.

We may pretend about everything else, but we can never pretend about our beliefs. In truth, what we believe determines the kind of fruits that we bear. Anyone who believes that God truly exists will have a deep fear of God; he or she would live righteously, whether in public or secret. Our unwillingness to repent from sinful behaviours reflects our lack of faith in God.

Today, we remember St. Irenaeus, a bishop and theologian. He was born around 140 in Asia Minor and died around 203, probably in Lyon. Born to Greek parents, he was a missionary to Gaul before being named bishop of Lugdunum (modern Lyon, France). His immense contribution to theology led to the development of the Apostles’ Creed. His works have proved a valuable source of information on the Gnostics because he gave accurate summaries of their beliefs before refuting them.

Let us pray: Almighty ever-living God, free me from self-deception and pretence. Through our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen

Be Happy. Live Positive. Have Faith. It is well with you. God bless you. (Saint Irenaeus, Bishop, Martyr. Bible Study: Genesis 15:1-12,17-18, Ps. 105:1-4,6-9, Matthew 7:15-20).

@Rev. Fr. Evaristus E. Abu