One Minute Reflection – 24 July – “The Month of the Precious Blood” – St Christina of Bolsena (3rd Century) Virgin Martyr – Romans 6:19-23, Matthew 7:15-21
“By their fruits you will know them. Do men gather grapes from thorns, or figs from thistles?”- Matthew 7:16
REFLECTION – ““It does not seem to me that “false prophets” here refers to the heretics but rather to persons who live morally corrupt lives, while wearing a mask of virtue. They are usually called ‘frauds’ by most people. For this reason, Jesus continued by saying, “By their fruits you will know them.” For it is possible to find some virtuous persons, living among heretics. But among the corrupted of whom I speak, it is in not possible. “So what difference does it make,” Jesus says in effect, “if even among these false prophets some do put on a hypocritical show of virtue? Certainly, they will soon be detected.”
The nature of this road upon which He commanded us to walk, is toilsome and hard. The hypocrite would seldom choose to toil but would prefer only to make a show. For this very reason, the hypocrite is easily detected. When Jesus notes that “there are few who find it,” He distinguishes these, from those who do not find the way, yet pretend to find it. So do not look to the mask but to the behavioural fruits, of those who pursue the narrow way.” – St John Chrysostom (347-407) Archbishop of Constantinople, Father and Doctor of the Church (The Gospel of Matthew Homily 23).
PRAYER – O God, Who among the other miracles of Thy power have bestowed the victory of martyrdom even upon the weaker sex, graciously grant that we, who commemorate the anniversary of the death of blessed Christina, Your Virgin and Martyr, may come to Thee by the path of her example.Through Jesus Christ, Thy Son our Lord, Who lives and reigns with Thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end. Amen (Collect).