Ordinary Time Week 12: Wednesday

“By their fruits you will know them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles?” (Matthew 7:16)

Saint John Chrysostom comments on this verse from today’s Gospel reading:

“It does not seem to me that “false prophets” here refers to the heretics but rather to persons who live morally corrupt lives while wearing a mask of virtue. They are usually called frauds by most people. For this reason Jesus continued by saying, “By their fruits you will know them.” For it is possible to find some virtuous persons living among heretics. But among the corrupted of whom I speak it is in no way possible. “So what difference does it make,” Jesus says in effect, “if even among these false prophets some do put on a hypocritical show of virtue? Certainly they will soon be detected easily.” The nature of this road upon which he commanded us to walk is toilsome and hard. The hypocrite would seldom choose to toil but would prefer only to make a show. For this very reason the hypocrite is easily detected. When Jesus notes that “there are few who find it,” he distinguishes these from those who do not find the way yet pretend to find it. So do not look to the mask but to the behavioral fruits of those who pursue the narrow way.” (The Gospel of Matthew, «Homily 23»)

Grant, O Lord,
that we may always revere and love Your Holy Name,
for You never deprive of Your guidance
those You set firm on the foundation of Your love.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son,
Who lives and reigns with You
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Glory to the Father
and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning,
is now, and will be forever. Amen