DATE: 25TH JULY, 2002
TIME: 9.00 PM
VENUE: MY ALTAR OF REPARATION, AWKA TOPIC: THE TRUE FRIENDS OF CHRIST
In my novena prayer during this hour, I saw a vision of the Holy Agonizing Face of Jesus Christ, who calmly said:
“My son, there are many who call me friend, but they are betrayers.I have only one group of friends and lovers. They are the friends of the Cross, the lovers of the Cross. These are the lovers who remained my consolers on Calvary and the bloody way of your Christ. They are the lovers who followed me amidst the crowd of hateful and wicked people, who wept for me and consoled me. These are the friends who shared in my agony.
Like my great lover, Veronica, they risked their lives to wipe my Bloody Face in the middle of the wicked soldiers. Like Mary of Magdala, they are brave lovers who gave up everything to win the Heart of Christ, their Saviour. They are like John who found the sweetness of love in the sweet Cross of Grace. They are like my Mother, the Mother of love. Children, these are my true friends, and true lovers.
There are many who call me friend because of miracle. They are not my true friends and lovers. They are the enemies of my Holy Cross. They are the betrayers like Judas Iscariot; they are slaves to position, to authority, to wealth, to prosperity, and to miracles.
Children, these are the group of lovers whom I cured; but the same people arrested me, beat me, and crucified me. They are not consolers. They are not cross-bearers. Their concern is my miracle. O, see how far they are from the knowledge of the Kingdom. They are chasing the worst and valueless things in life.
Listen, my children, you cannot be my true lovers unless you are my consolers. You cannot be my true lovers unless you are friends and lovers of the Holy Cross.I say, you must love your cross. You must carry your cross and follow me. You must love the narrow way of perfection, the Calvary way of salvation and follow it. The giant lovers will help me to carry all the rejected crosses, which my false lovers have abandoned for me to carry.
My lovers will find that my Cross is light and that its pain is sweet. O, my great lovers, to you I will reveal the mystery of love. You are my true friends. I love you. I will reward you with the best of gifts for all you have done for me. I will care for you always. Soon, these crosses of yours will be a throne of joy.
So, I bless you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, Amen.”
Immediately the vision passed.
Meditation: In Gospel of Matthew 7: 15-21 Our LORD warns us about false prophets. Our LORD thinks it is important for us to know the difference between a false prophet and a true one.
The 1st distinction to be made regards their clothing. False prophets look good on the outside. They are polished, well dressed, well groomed and well mannered. But inside they are wolves. Wolves are wild and fierce. They seek at night to kill the sheep. That means the false prophets hide their real intentions to lead the sheep astray. They seduce the faithful instead of respecting their intelligent free will.
How are we to know the false prophet? By their fruits. Fruits are what come out of a man. They are his words and deeds. The most fundamental criteria for whether fruit is good or bad is whether or not it is consistent with the Catholic Faith.
It doesn’t matter who he is, or how high his position is in the Church; if what he does or if what comes out of his mouth, is contrary to the Catholic Faith, he is a false prophet.
False prophets preach God who is full of love. Well, that much is true, GOD IS FULL OF LOVE, but that is all they preach. They don’t preach how His love also includes punishing those who offend Him with sin. As a result, the false prophet preaches a God who doesn’t require much of us. They don’t talk about sin or the need to avoid the near occasions. They speak of liberty - do whatever you want. Their liberty really amounts to license - license to do whatever you please. They teach your own conscience is the only norm for moral decisions. They talk a lot about grace but little about law. Thus, they give people a false sense of freedom and happiness.
False prophets, did not have God’s true interests in mind in what they said or did.
A true prophet doesn’t preach what the people want to hear. Rather he preaches what God wants them to hear.
A true Prophet like Jeremiah is one of the four major Prophets of the Old Testament. The Prophecies of Jeremiah follow Isaiah, and precede Ezekiel and Daniel in the Old Testament. Now since Jeremiah’s words and prophecies are judged to be Canonical, his words are inspired by God. We will consider his life and some of his prophecies to learn from him about the difference between a true and false prophet.
One of the first points about Jeremiah prophetic career is that he didn’t want to be a Prophet. He considered himself to be too young. So a true prophet doesn’t prophecy because he wants to, rather he prophecies because God wants him to. And so God put His words into Jeremiah’s mouth - it didn’t matter how young he was.
Jeremiah also had an unpopular message. Like Elijah in his day, there were only a few true prophets during his life. All of the other so- called prophets during his life time were false prophets. And so, Jeremiah was critical of the other Prophets just as Our LORD was highly critical of the Scribes and Pharisees.
Jeremiah preached the truth even if it isolated him from the other prophets who he denounced as false.
One of the issues that Jeremiah preached against was the idolatry that was going on in the Temple. This was a long term and on going problem. But while preaching against idolatry isn’t a necessary condition of being a true prophet, if idolatry is going on, you can certainly bet a true prophet will preach against it. So too, today, true Prophets are condemning Pope Francis’ upcoming superstitious and sacrilegious religious ceremony with the Canadian indigenous people. A false prophet will either take part in the worship of false religions or he will make excuses for those who participate in such rituals.
Jeremiah was also critical of religious formalism just like Our LORD leveled His sharpest criticism against the Pharisees. Jeremiah preached against thinking all you have to do is to show up at the Temple and appear to do whatever the Mosaic law required. For they would then go home without reforming their own lives. Because of their refusal to reform their own lives, and because they worshiped false gods in the temple; Jeremiah predicted the Jerusalem Temple would be destroyed.
To preach that the Temple would be destroyed would be just as audacious as saying “Rome will become the seat of the AntiChrist.” Now who would ever say that? Could it have been the Mother of God? (She is also considered to be a Prophet - a Prophetess - and a true Prophet at that). For the Jews, it was unthinkable that God would allow one of their Seven Wonders of the World to be destroyed. And because Jeremiah predicted that God would destroy the Temple for their impiety, For preaching that the Temple would be destroyed, Jeremiah was then accused of a capital offense, and then forbidden to ever preach again. We might say Jeremiah is the Patron Saint of Canceled Priests. After prophesying the destruction of the Temple, Jeremiah was whipped by the head Priest of the Temple. Then Jeremiah was put in stocks to be publicly reprimanded. Did this shut Jeremiah up? No, a true Prophet keeps on preaching. Even though the people refused to listen to God, Jeremiah did. And after he was set free, Jeremiah was right back at it. He publicly denounced the High Priest as a false prophet and predicated he would become a slave in Babylon. That would be like Father Jesusmary, from Africa’s Ivory Coast, being suspended for criticizing Pope Francis and then being told if he continues to publicly criticize the Pope he will no longer be allowed to even say Mass privately. Did this stop Fr. Jesusmary from speaking out? No. Is he going to stop saying Mass?
He said no one can take his Priesthood away from him. In the same way, Jeremiah’s Prophetic Mission was given by God and no one could take it away from him.
However, after this trying incident with the High Priest in the Temple, Jeremiah records how depressed him and complained that while he wanted to speak words of kindness to God people, God didn’t allow it. Here we see once again that the true Prophet doesn’t speak what he wants to say, but rather what God would have him say. Jeremiah wanted to preach kind words, but wasn’t allowed to. The true Prophet doesn’t win popularity contests. Jeremiah complained to God how his words had so angered every one that even friends were out to kill him. But Jeremiah continued to trust in God and found strength in God to carry on. A true Prophet is frequently persecuted. Persecution almost always follows a true Prophet. A true prophet doesn’t preach what the
people want to hear. Rather he preaches what God wants them to hear.
Jeremiah was not afraid to speak out about political corruption either. To say abortion is a sin, (which is considered to be preaching against the Democratic Party) - to say that God created man in his own image - male and female He created them - this is considered a political hate crime. But losing his life was a price Jeremiah was willing to pay. His message was politically very incorrect and unwelcomed by the Jewish King. As to be expected, the false prophets preached the exact opposite message were safe politically. They always preached that everything would be fine. But Jeremiah was not afraid to speak against these false prophets and his fellow Jews. He knew he had a different message to give and he knew his message came from God.
Eventually preaching like this cost him his life. Jeremiah died in exile in Egypt.
Jeremiah called more people to repentance than any other Prophet. He called upon men to reform their wicked lives and to abandon their false gods. And for this, he was stoned to death by a fellow Jew. It reminds me of how Archbishop Vigano has been verbally stoned to death by his fellow Bishops. Many Jews simply did not want to hear what Jeremiah had to say. So, like many true prophets, even like Our LORD Jesus Christ, Jeremiah had to be put to death. Calling men to repentance is risky business. But it is definitely a sign of a true Prophet.
What do you need to do? You should exercise your critical judgment when listening to a religious leader. You should make sure what is said is consistent with the Catholic Faith. Having done that, you will have been obedient to Our LORD’s warning “Beware of false prophets.”
Precious Blood of Jesus Christ, save us from False Prophets.
Sermon of Rev.Fr Phillipson 7/24/2022