Abraham believed in God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness (Romans 4. 36), and the Lord made a covenant with him.
A reading from the Book of Genesis (Genesis 15:1-12.17-18)

In those days: It happened that the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision, “Fear not, Abram, I am your shield; your reward shall be very great.” But Abram said, “O Lord GOD, what will you give me, for I continue childless, and the heir of my house is Elieze of Damascus?” And Abram said, “Behold, you have given me no offspring; and a slave born in my house will be my heir.” And behold, the word of the Lord came to him, “This man shall not be your heir; your own son shall be your heir.” And he brought him outside and said, “Look towards heaven, and number the stars, if you are able to number them.” Then he said to him, “So shall your descendants be.” And he believed the Lord; and he reckoned it to him as righteousness. And he said to him, “I am the Lord who brought you from Ur of the Chaldeans, to give you this land to possess.” But he said, “O Lord GOD, how am I to know that I shall possess it?” He said to him, “Bring me a heifer three years old, a she-goat three years old, a ram three years old, a turtledove, and a young pigeon.” And he brought him all these, cut them in two, and laid each half over against the other; but he did not cut the birds in two. And when birds of prey came upon the carcasses, Abram drove them away. As the sun was going down, a deep sleep feel on Abram; and behold, a dread and great darkness fell upon him. When the sun had gone down and it was dark, behold, a smoking fire pot and a flaming torch passed between these pieces. On that day the Lord made a covenant with Abram, saying, “To your descendants I give this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the river of Euphrates.”

The word of the Lord.

RESPONSORIAL PSALM Psalm 105:1-2.5-4.6-7.8-9 (R. 8a)
R/. The Lord remembers his covenant forever.

Give thanks to the Lord; proclaim his name.
Make known his deeds among the peoples.
O sing to him, sing his praise;
tell all his wonderful works ! R.

Glory in his holy name;
let the hearts that seek the Lord rejoice.
Turn to the Lord and his strength;
constantly seek his face. R.

R/. The Lord remembers his covenant forever.
Or:  Alleluia.

O children of Abraham, his servant,
O descendants of the Jacob he chose,
he, the Lord, is our God;
his judgements are in all the earth. R.

He remembers his covenant forever:
the promise he ordained for a thousand generations,
the covenant he made with Abraham,
the oath he swore to Isaac. R.

ALLELUIA John 15:4a.5b
Alleluia. Abide in me, and I in you, says the Lord; he who abides in me bears much fruit. Alleluia.

“You will know then by their fruits.”
A reading from the holy Gospel according to Matthew (Matthew 7:15-20)

At that time: Jesus said to his disciples, “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thorns, or figs from thistles? So, every sound tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears evil fruit. A sound tree cannot bear evil fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus you will know them by their fruits.”

The Gospel of the Lord.

Today’s Reflection

The Lord offers us a quick course in distinguishing between true and false prophets. We need prophets to highlight God’s presence to us; yet prophets of every stripe abound and we require some criteria to test them. The first condition Jesus gives is to look at the person’s lifestyle. The quality of the heart is revealed through the quality of someone’s life. Does the person’s preaching resonate in his or her life? “you will be able to tell by the fruits.” The second test is to examine what the prophet offers: cheap grace, easy religion and shallow spiritual experience, or the demanding avenue of personal conversion and soul-stirring prayer?


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