God Is Trustworthy - Are We?

Wednesday of Week 12 in Ordinary Time - Cycle I

Gen. 15:1-12,17-18 & Mt. 7:15-20

If there is anything in particular that we look for in human relationships, it is trustworthiness. Without this there can be no relationships at all. We want to be able to depend on a friend's word. We want someone who will keep his or her promises.

Among God's extraordinary promises to Abraham was that his descendants would be very numerous and, despite his old age and that of his wife, he would have a son from whom all these people would come. God was pleased that Abraham took Him at His word but He understood the human heart and the need we feel for a sign of trustworthiness. He was willing to submit Himself, therefore, to a strange ceremony in use at the time for sealing a contract. Animals were cut in two and the contracting parties walked between the halves as a sign that they were willing to suffer the fate of the animals if they broke their promises. Such a sign was not necessary from God, of course, but out of love for Abraham He gave it anyway.

We are the beneficiaries of the new covenant, not a promise of continued life through many descendants, but the pledge of everlasting life. God has given us a sign of this new covenant: between us He has placed His Son upon the Cross. This new covenant is sealed in the death of His Son. That death is the pledge of His everlasting love.

Jesus says, “Beware of false prophets.” There have always been those who do the work of Satan and lead people away from Christ. Who are they today and how are we to recognise them? Jesus says, “You will know them by their fruits, by their deeds.” You will know the true from the false prophets by their fidelity to the teaching of Christ in the Gospels; it is through reading the Gospels in a prayerful manner with the help of the Holy Spirit, and being guided by His Church, that we will discover the truth. We will be able to recognise the permissiveness which clouds the difference between right and wrong, as well as the hair splitting legalism which holds the letter of the law in greater respect than the spirit.

Holy Spirit, help us to pray that You will give us the wisdom to know when we are in danger of following false prophets, who will lead us away from Christ.