Much of what is written in the Scriptures comes to us from various prophets. The biblical notion of prophet is a little different than what is commonly thought today. A prophet is someone who brings the Word of God with them and uses it to illumine the present moment rather than the future. Prophets proclaim God’s Word.
Both of the readings today concern themselves with the question of “false prophets” without actually using that identification. In the Letter of Jude, we are told to remember what we heard from the apostles of the Lord Jesus Christ. Implied in this instruction is a warning not to be drawn in by the statements of false prophets.
In the Gospel, the Pharisees question Jesus’ authority. When they try to trap him with their question, he uses their rejection of John the Baptist as a true prophet to set a trap for them and avoid falling into theirs.
Even today in our secular society, false prophets attempt to seduce us and draw us away from the authentic teaching of Jesus Christ. False prophets can be quickly identified by the fact that they try to draw people to themselves rather than to God. Some claim to be visionaries, but rather than be enamored of their so-called visions, we must test their message. Authentic prophets put themselves before God and ask us to do the same.
Jude reminds us to pray for the guidance of the Holy Spirit who has been sent into our midst to help us discern God’s Word in our present moment and to help us to maintain our relationship with Our Lord, Jesus Christ.
Fr. Lawrence Jagdfeld, O.F.M., Administrator