Wednesday, 12th Week in Ordinary Time
Jesus, in today’s gospel reading, refers to false prophets. Who are these? Evidently, in the early Church there were two kinds of teachers or prophets moving among the people. There were those who had been commissioned and sent by the Apostles. There were others who said they were called directly by God. But, how does one know that a person was called directly by God? Jesus tells us that we will know them by their deeds – that is, whether their life matches their words.
We can apply that to ourselves, our life, our faith. The life we live manifests the depth of our faith and the state of our soul. This is a constant theme throughout Matthew’s Gospel. There is the distinction between those who only hear the Word and never follow it. And those who hear the Word and follow with their life. Their life shows whether they have truly heard the Word of God.
Jesus says, “Every good tree bears good fruit.” We can tell the state of a tree by its fruit. The same is true in human life. We can tell the condition of our soul by the life we live.
I like the reflection of Joseph Krempa on today’s readings: “However, emotional and intense our private spiritual life may be, if we find ourselves in constant tension, bickering, squabble, detraction, and conflict with others, we may well be displaying the fact that our spirituality has not yet reached the depths of our heart.” “Just as chaos in Israel would be remedied by a return to covenant faithfulness in today’s first reading, so as our soul becomes ordered around Christ our life will find structure and harmony.”
Our life is the mirror of our soul. Therefore we start to place our life in order by putting our soul in order first. Usually, we try it the other way around and attempt all kinds of methods to organize our life in the hope that it will being order within. But spirituality works from the inside out not from outside in. The inner state of a tree is shown by its fruits. The degree to which we have truly heard the Word of God is shown in our deeds. The condition of our soul is shown by the kind of life we are living. If our life is broken into many pieces, the repair needs to begin within.