Homily (Reflection) for the Memorial of Saint Irenaeus, B.D. (28th June, 2017) on the Gospel and the Memorial
(Wednesday of the Twelfth Week in Ordinary Time (I))
Gen 15:1-12.17-18;Ps 104:1-4.6-9. (R. v.8);
Saint Irenaeus, was Bishop of Lugdunum in Gaul, then part of the Roman Empire (now Lyon, France). He was an early Church Father and apologist, and his writings were formative in the early development of Christian theology. His best-known book, Adversus Haereses (Against Heresies) is a detailed attack on Gnosticism, which was then a serious threat to the Church. His polemical work is credited for laying out the orthodoxies of the Christian church, its faith, its preaching and the books that it held as sacred authority.
Topic: True definition.
Jesus warned in today’s gospel,
Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits.... every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruits.
Saint John also cautioned,
Beloved, do not believe every spirit.... By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God (1Jn 4:1-3a).
However, confessing Jesus Christ is not an action of the lips alone but of the whole person, cf. Is 29:13-14; Matt 15:8; Mk 7:6. It is living “a life worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God” (Col 1:10). Confessing Jesus is in action, cf. Lk 3:8. 6:46; Matt 3:8.
Let no one be deceived with anything because “even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light” (2Cor 11:14). Children of God are light and “the fruit of the light is found in all that is good and right and true” (Eph 5:9). It must possess the three qualities. Saint Irenaeus of Lyons warns, ‘Error never shows itself in its naked reality, in order not to be discovered. On the contrary, it dresses elegantly, so that the unwary may be led to believe that it is more truthful than truth itself’.
Finally, as you watch for others’ fruits, do not forget to bear yours because every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire, cf. Matt 3:10; Lk 3:9.
Bible Reading: 1Jn 4:1-6.
Thought for today: Bear fruits that are good, right, and true.
Let us pray: Lord, help us discern spirits correctly and bear good fruits – Amen.
Saint Irenaeus – Pray for us.
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