Wednesday of the Twelfth Week in Ordinary time
(II Kings 22:8-13.23:1-3; Matthew 7:15-20)
Two generations ago false prophets said that the world was being overpopulated. They predicted mass famine if artificial methods of birth control were not disseminated. The truth, even then, was that some people – notably Americans – use disproportionate amounts of resources. Even so, there have not been the great shortages of food that doomsday sayers forecasted. In today’s gospel Jesus criticizes so-called prophets in his day who cause unnecessary consternation.
Jesus may well have in mind those who speak of God’s coming wrath to win the support of the people. They condemn the lack of religious rigor of common people while failing to show compassion to those suffering hardship. They are wolves under the appearance of shepherds.
Today false prophets criticize the Church for its positions in defense of human life. They say – contrary to Church teaching -- that a concern for human dignity leads to helping the dying take their lives. But a true concern for human dignity recognizes that every human being is made in the image of God. We pay homage to human dignity by serving the dying until their natural end.