Between the year 2000 and January 1st, 2018, 39 predictions the world would end became false prophecies. There probably were countless predictions, but these 39 were made by well-known Christians. Scripture is clear if someone claims to be a prophet, and what they say doesn’t happen, then that person is a false prophet who only claims to speak for God but actually doesn’t. The false prophet should be ignored and hopefully will repent. Besides announcing future events, God also calls prophets to teach for Him. Mimicking this however, is a spirit of false teaching prophecy. The Catholic Church isn’t immune from it. Most false teaching prophets are probably well-intentioned; yet they claim to teach on God’s behalf but actually don’t. They’re guided by the spirt of the world (ultimately the devil and demons) not by the Holy Spirit. This 2nd type of false prophet in the Church is harder to root out because they claim to teach on God’s behalf.
Today’s 1st reading references false-teaching prophets. Deuteronomy says, “If a prophet presumes to speak in my name an oracle that I have not commanded him to speak…he shall die.” God wants the Israelites to remove false-teacher prophets because they lead people away from God. In the history of the Church, a common characteristic of false-teacher prophets is they tell people what they want to hear, rather than God’s truth which can sometimes seem difficult and often is what people don’t want to hear. In the Catholic Church today, I’m convinced a false-teaching prophecy is gaining strength. I never thought in my life I’d feel compelled to do a homily like this yet here I am. Priests are ordained to lead people closer to God and protect their sheep. The false-teaching prophecy in the Church right now includes 4 things: contraception, marriage only as Jesus taught it, saying the sins of Gomorrah and Sodom are ok, and a desire to make married men priests. With the last one, trying to make it so married men can be priests, I’ve heard enough confessions to know that married life brings with it its own unique and beautiful can of worms, as does unmarried priesthood. I’ve also been blessed to be befriended by families whose children I love like they’re mine, which helps me realize why Jesus taught in MT 19 that priests and nuns should be unmarried. St. Paul reiterates this in the 2nd reading today: “Brothers and sisters…an unmarried man is anxious about the things of the Lord, how he may please the Lord. But a married man is anxious about the things of the world, how he may please his wife, and he is divided.” Allowing married priests isn’t going to solve priest shortages. False-teacher prophets in the Catholic Church pushing for married priests ignore Scripture, ignore Jesus (God), and betray a way of thinking based in the spirit of the world—their teaching will bear no good fruit.
With contraception, Christ’s Church has always taught the hard and joyful truth. Those who are honest admit the baseness of contraception; couples are reduced to pleasure receptacles. It’s in the news all the time how robots are made and sold for the same purpose. With marriage the way Jesus taught it in MT 19 (only between a woman and man), there’s a false-teacher spirit by some priests and bishops (who should know better) that the Church should bless so-called same-sex unions. To do so means Jesus is wrong and that these teachers know better than Jesus, God. Likewise, many priests and bishops around the world openly teach the sins of the Cities of Gomorrah and Sodom are a holy way to express love. Christians who teach this might as well throw away their bibles; (they should actually read them). I bring these false-teacher prophets up today because you as my sheep will (or already have) heard some of these false-teachers. I don’t want you to be confused about God’s truth or to be caught unaware. Priests, bishops, nuns, whoever promotes these things, are examples of the false-teacher prophets that the 1st reading spoke of. We pray for their repentance.
St. Mark’s Gospel tells us today that Jesus “taught them as one having authority and not as the scribes.” Jesus we know is God, with His Father and the Holy Spirit. God inspired the Gospel’s writing. Christians only in name (C.o.i.n.s) say that the Bible, since it was written physically by men, should be reinterpreted to “get with the times.” This is untrue, dangerous, a false-teacher prophet spirit, spurred on by the characters Jesus encountered today in the Gospel: “In their synagogue there was a man with an unclean spirit; he cried out, ‘What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are—the Holy One of God!’” All of us must be intentional, choosing to take time to be close to God, alone with God in prayer and silence here in the church, in order to avoid the trap of being guided by the spirit of the world, a false-teacher spirit. The spirit of the world deceives with ½ truths. The Holy Spirit of God leads to all truth, whether it’s easy to live out or not. It’s good that we’re here. Please say a prayer for Fr. Michael and myself and God bless.