In this section of the Sermon on the Mount, Christ continues to give guidance to the disciples on their journey towards Heaven. Here and in tomorrow’s Gospel, Jesus warns against false prophets and false “Christians.”

Warning of false prophets, Jesus harshly compares them to ravenous wolves, thorn bushes, thistles and rotten wood. False prophets are known by their bad fruit; false teachings that oppose Christ’s teaching (and the full Magisterium today) and that lead souls away from Christ.  Ominously, Jesus reveals that the false prophets will be “thrown into the fire.”

In contrast, Jesus explains how to identify good prophets, the true Apostles of Christ.  True Apostles are like good trees that bear good fruit, good vines that bear grapes and bushes that bear figs. While Christ is not explicit in describing “good” fruit, it likely must include personal holiness, teaching the fullness of Christ’s Gospel and the drawing of men to the King.

Jesus twice repeats the phrase “by their fruits you will know them.” Christ is urging each man to be prudent, not accepting or following those in power who teach contrary to the fullness of Christ’s Gospel.

Awed by Jesus Christ – Jesus Christ, the Divine Prophet, with superb and memorable words, accurately predicts the many heretics in the Early Church and the false teachers in today’s Church; He severely condemns them.  Divine Judge, Christ refers again to the fires of Hell and that false prophets are sent there for eternity.

Being a Heroic Catholic Man

1) Christ’s predictions about false prophets have proven true. Men today are confronted with false prophets everywhere who are bearing the rotten fruit of cultural decay and lost souls: political leaders, judges, religious leaders, celebrities, scientists, academics, etc.  Marvel at how Christ clearly understands in a timeless way the sinfulness of men who reject Christ.

2) Sadly, Christ also describes the false prophets within the Church during the past 50 years whose “bad fruit” has led to the Catholic “man-crisis.” Pray that Christ cleanses His Church so that all priests fearlessly teach and practice the fullness of faith; also pray to be guided to good and holy priests.

3) Christ warns of the necessity of bearing good fruit and the horrific consequences of Hell (the fire) for those who don’t.  Commit to some specific ways you can bear good fruit today.

Spiritual Practices – Include in Today’s Prayers

Sacred Mystery of Rosary – The Glorious Mysteries

Daily Devotion – Saint Joseph

Virtue of the Day – Temperance