Years ago, I watched a TV program that featured Mariologist Fr. Rene Laurentin as he was interviewed about the apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary. As an expert on studies relating to Mary, he was asked for the criteria he would look for in determining whether an apparition is true or fake. He said that if it was really the Heavenly Queen who appeared, there will be a growth in holiness in the visionary.
In today’s Gospel reading, when Jesus was warning his disciples about false prophets, our Lord said that one can only know them by their fruits. This struck me since, as a seminarian, I am preparing to be a future prophet of God by becoming a priest. I realized that I need to take advantage of seminary formation by being more obedient, faithful, and open so that, in the future, I could bear fruit that would be expected of a man of God.
I am reminded that in order to be a “true prophet” in the future, I need to start the work by keeping myself attached to Jesus more and more–by being more devoted and fervent with the Holy Eucharist. This poses a challenge for me to continue to grow more and more in love and stay attached to Jesus. Bearing “good” fruits will be impossible when one is detached from the “Vine”.
By: Sem. Tristan Ralf Q. Pacheco
Jesus said to his disciples:
“Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing,
but underneath are ravenous wolves.
By their fruits you will know them.
Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles?
Just so, every good tree bears good fruit,
and a rotten tree bears bad fruit.
A good tree cannot bear bad fruit,
nor can a rotten tree bear good fruit.
Every tree that does not bear good fruit will be cut down
and thrown into the fire.
So by their fruits you will know them.”