“Our days are numbered. One of the primary goals in our lives should be to prepare for our last day. The legacy we leave is not just in our possessions, but in the quality of our lives. What preparations should we be making now? The greatest waste in all of our earth, which cannot be recycled or reclaimed, is our waste of the time that God has given us each day.” ― Bill Graham: (1931 – 1991: was a German-American impresario and rock concert promoter from the 1960s until his death in 1991 in a helicopter crash.)
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 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."
We live in a world of contradictions. Lots of people today say one thing but mean another. It is easy to be victims of so-called religious leaders who show compassion but have hidden agenda; they know and say the right words, like a performance they do.
But as much as we need to be wary of false prophets and others who use religion to advance their selfish intentions, we do have to reflect on how we should live our Christian faith.
A leader I knew and respected told me that the worst thing you could do to a person is to make him/her believe that you care for him/her, when indeed you do not. A so-called leader by name could do that, but a true leader strives to make a genuine connection with others, know them well and see where they are coming from.
Jesus lived and taught the people in the way he wanted us to live. He made efforts to know his followers, to know their dreams and their fears. He connected with those he met, sinners and true followers. He did this out of his love for people. It is this kind of love he urges us to live.
There are no prerequisites to the following of Christ: it is free of hypocrisy and of trappings. All we have to do is to love Christ and allow ourselves to be loved by him: no preconditions or pretenses needed.