Gospel: Mt 7:15-20
Beware of false prophets: they come to you in sheep’s clothing; but inside, they are voracious wolves. You will recognize them by their fruits. Do you ever pick grapes from thorn bushes; or figs, from thistles?
A good tree always produces good fruit. A rotten tree produces bad fruit. A good tree cannot produce bad fruit; and a rotten tree cannot bear good fruit. Any tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. So then, you will know them by their fruit.
The con artists and the tricksters are always good at self-presentation. That is why Jesus cautions us to be wary of self-proclaimed anointed of God. They come with all the trappings of holiness. Their mouth drips of pious platitudes. They can fake holy practices. But they cannot sustain these false activities that does not come from a transformed heart but from a cold calculating mind.
And so, rather than looking at the external qualifications, Jesus invites us to look at the fruits. He wants us to pay attention to the result as well as the process. This means that we need to possess ascetical patience. One that withholds judgment until the consistency of words and actions, or the lack of it.