They deem him their worst enemy who tells them the truth.- Plato
(Gospel text Mt 7:15-20)
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 thorn bushes, 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."
When I think of evil, images of Hitler or Joseph Stalin usually come to mind, and, indeed, both committed terrible crimes against humanity. I believe, though, there is an even greater evil among us, and that evil is the absence of God. We become attracted to many things that appear good at face value, but underneath are the ravenous wolves Christ warned us to be looking for. There is no greater evil in the modern world than moral relativism and desensitivity to the Truth. As John Paul II said, “We live in a culture of death.” Everywhere we turn, it seems, we find immorality, abominations against the human person, and violations of human dignity. Abortion and contraception are at the heart of some of the greatest problems facing our society, and the average age which children are being exposed to pornography is eleven. And yet so few seem to care.
We have become so desensitized to immorality that most people barely notice it. It seems that countless television commercials use immoral sexual references or examples to sell their products. It has become a part of our daily lives, yet it is, perhaps, the greatest sin of the modern world. We must stay on guard and look for the wolves, who prowl about in sheep’s clothing. We must be willing to stand up against such injustices and abominations and live for the Truth. We must strive to create a culture of life in which we will see the goodness of God reflected in the human body, not the degradation of humans to mere beasts.
The desire to love and to be loved has been written upon the hearts of all mankind, and it is a far deeper and more intimate desire than any similar one we possess. The world needs true, authentic love. We are called to bring this love to the world; to love our spouses, children, and families as Christ loves the Church, and like Christ, some today are called to literally lay their lives down out of love for the Church as priests and religious. We are called to embrace life, to love it, and to live fully in a common union with Christ. If we take this stand against the culture of death now, we will one day live to see life become victorious.