BEWARE OF FALSE PROPHETS
(Tuesday, June 13)
“Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits.” (Mt 7:15-16)
It seems we have the opposite idea, in my church these days: If a clergyman or monastic dresses in the “right” clothing outwardly, has a long enough beard, etc., we trust them. It also helps if they refer to “the Fathers” or quote this or that “Elder.” Because all this looks and sounds “Orthodox,” – even if it happens to make no sense, what they are saying. For example, when they manipulate Scripture to defend the indefensible, like the mindless aggression against human beings in our “culture wars” and in our real wars, like Russia’s war against the Ukrainian people. Their suffering and all the bloodshed are the “fruits” that should be a huge red flag for us, to “beware.” Let us beware of the wolves, my friends, as well as of the “hirelings,” who, unlike The Good Shepherd, do *not* care about the sheep; do *not* put down their own lives for them, but flee, when we, the sheep, are in danger of being “scattered.” “And the wolf catches the sheep and scatters them,” as our Lord describes this situation. (Jn 10:11-13) But let us take heart, whenever we might be confronted by the wolves or hirelings, because our Good Shepherd never abandons us, does lay down His life for us, knows us, and makes Himself known to us, whenever we care to (re-)embrace faith in Him.
“I am the good shepherd; and I know My sheep, and am known by My own. As the Father knows Me, even so I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep. And other sheep I have which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they will hear My voice; and there will be one flock and one shepherd.” (Jn 10:14-16)