As I reflected on today’s Gospel from Matthew I zeroed in on the author’s pointed
caution— to “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but underneath are ravenous wolves.” (Matthew 7:15).
As I considered what false prophets I might be hanging around and listening to, I was reminded of the untruths that I carry around inside myself; the lies that most often arise from my own woundedness that try to convince me that I am less than who I was created to be. Those “false prophets” that try to convince me that I am unloved, a failure, or less than are, as the gospel describes, “ravenous wolves”.
This reminded me of a purported Cherokee proverb: A wise tribal elder told a story to his grandson one evening by the fire. ‘Inside me, there is a fight raging between two wolves. One wolf is anger, bitterness, self-pity, jealousy, and sorrow. The other wolf is love, faith, hope, peace, forgiveness, and joy. Both wolves are strong, and they battle fiercely – not just in me, but in everyone, even you.
’The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather: “Which wolf wins?”
The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one you feed.”
This leads me to two pondering thoughts: Which “wolf” am I feeding on a daily basis? And, in light of the next line of the same gospel passage, “By their fruits you will know them”, what type of “fruit” am I producing-fresh and succulent, or shriveled and dried out?