Wednesday of the 12th week in the ordinary time of the year A

Theme: By their fruits

Today the church celebrates the memorial of St. Irenaeus, bishop, and Martyr. He worked very hard for the unity of the church. He willingly gave everything to ensure that there was peace and unity in the church, and willingly gave his life for his belief and faith in God. His life continues to challenge all of us who are Christians in our own time. He paid the supreme price with his own blood. The life and faith of St. Irenaeus is worthy of emulation by Christians in our own time. Christianity is a call to selflessness, sacrifice, and service, and all these put together we can see in the life of the saint we celebrate today. As we celebrate him today, we are all encouraged to be conscious of these facts and strive to live them in our daily lives as followers of Christ.

In the gospel reading of today, Jesus warns us to be mindful of false prophets, by their fruits you shall know them. The first question we should always ask ourselves is what type of fruits they are bearing. A good and healthy tree cannot bear a sick and bad fruit, likewise a sick tree cannot bear a good fruit. Jesus is simply saying we should be vigilant and be mindful of this fact. This is because they can sometimes disguise themselves as sheep while they are wolves. We must always be vigilant and not allow our desperation to blind us to the reality around us. This is very important, because most times the signs are there to tell us that there is something wrong here, but because of our desperation we fail to see it. You must be very careful, lest you give them the power to exploit and manipulate you for their selfish gains.

My brothers and sisters in Christ, remember, Jesus is our standard, when you notice something different from what Jesus would have done ordinarily, then you must be careful and thread with caution. A good example is, Jesus never collected money for consultation or healing of the sick, and so many other funny practices that is taking place in our world today. Just be mindful of this and have peace.

In the 1st reading of today from the Book of Genesis God calms the fear of Abram. He is worried because he has no child of his own, and the Lord tells him, do not be afraid. God calmed him down and made a covenant with him, and it was all fulfilled in the life of Abram. In the same way, the Lord is saying to you today, do not be afraid. Trust in him and be calm, and his promises in your life will be fulfilled. As you do this, may almighty God bless you in the name of the father and of the son and of the holy spirit. Amen. Peace be with you.

Memorial of St. Irenaeus, bishop and martyr, year A, by Fr. Jude Ifeanyi Ifezime, C.S.Sp