對天主而言，要辨別人是真誠或虛偽，並沒有難度，因祂不是看人的外表，而是內心 (撒上 16:7)。可是祂明白我們能力有限，只能靠外在的條件推斷人或事的好壞，所以在今天的福音中，耶穌為此給我們很好的指引。
一﹑ 這世上確實有假先知，因此我們要謹慎，免得被迷惑。聖保祿宗徒也提示早期的教會，說：「連撒殫也常冒充光明的天使；所以倘若他的僕役也冒充正義的僕役，並不算是大事。」(格後 11:14-15)
二﹑ 要識別外表良善，但內裡敗壞的人，可觀察他們做事的後果。例如社會上很多人支持婦女可以墮胎，認為是給予她們一個選擇的權利，但實際卻令無數嬰兒的生命被扼殺，也令不少婦女因此身心受到創傷。思想或行為是好是壞其實我們用心去了解，便會明瞭。當然有時結果未必一時三刻便能清楚，但耶穌說過：「好樹不能結壞果子，壞樹也不能結好果子。」如果是真心跟隨天主旨意而做的善工，天主自會成就；反之，惡行總會露出邪惡的尾巴。對於冒充基督宗徒的人，聖保祿宗徒的結論也是：「他們的結局必與他們的行為相對等。」(格後 11:15)
God has no difficulty determining whether a person is sincere or hypocritical, because He doesn't judge from the appearance, but looks into the heart (1 Samuel 16:7). Yet He understands with our limited ability, we can only rely on the external conditions to infer whether something or someone's intention is good or evil, so in today's Gospel reading, Jesus gives us some guidance.
We can reflect on His teaching on 3 aspects:
1. There are false prophets in the world, so we must be careful not to be deceived or misled. St. Paul warned the early church, “And no wonder, for even Satan masquerades as an angel of light. So it is not strange that his ministers also masquerade as ministers of righteousness.” (1 Corinthians 11:14-15)
2. To identify false prophets, we can observe the consequences of their work. For example, many people in the society support women's right to abortion, and claim that it is just to let them make their own choices, but in reality, many babies were killed and women have been wounded physically and mentally as a result. If we use a critical mind and have patience to observe and discern, we can eventually tell whether a person's thought or action is righteous or evil. As Jesus said, “A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a rotten tree bear good fruit.“ (Matthew 7:18) St. Paul also concluded, “Their end will correspond to their deeds.” (1 Corinthians 11:15)
3. Finally, we have to examine our conscience too. Have we assumed we're following the truth and often judge others, and became a false prophet without knowing?
Let us always humble ourselves before God, and be reminded of His ways using the scripture. Pray that God gives us the wisdom to discern between good and evil, so we can follow Him in truth and not in vain.
"But if any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God who gives to all generously and ungrudgingly, and he will be given it." (James 1:5)