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There was a period in our history when the task of teaching, directing, and counseling was mostly limited to priests and religious sisters. And then came the era of Tiya Dely and Kuya Cesar, and Helen Vela and Bob Garon, who all became popular because of the advice they gave.

And now, blessed by the Church, blessed by the Lord, the Church has lay people engaged in teaching, counseling, giving advice, and in enlightening people and helping them make the right decisions.

But a question needs to be faced: Is the teaching that they give from God? Is the advice that you are receiving Spirit-inspired? Is the direction that you are getting from the Lord?

We have to be very careful because if we are getting advice, teaching, and direction from the wrong prophets or the wrong counselors, or the wrong advisers, then it will be a case of the blind leading the blind. Both will fall into the hole.

The Gospel tells us that there are two questions that have to be asked to determine if we are getting the right help, advice, or teaching. The first is: “Does the teaching, or advice, or direction bear fruit?” You will judge a tree by its fruits. You will know that the advice, the teaching, the direction that you are receiving is from the Lord if it results in conversion, in peace, and in inner joy. Because joy, peace, and repentance cannot be from the evil one. Listen to the fruits in your heart, and that is the first question. Are you getting the fruits of the Spirit?

The second question that needs to be asked is: “Is your adviser or teacher making things too easy for you? If things have become very easy and very comfortable, watch out. Because easy religion, easy pleasure, easy enjoyment, easy things are not the ways of the Spirit. It can be very difficult, indeed, to follow Christ on the cross. But it is only in following Christ on the cross that we can have the meaning of life. The meaning of life is not to be found in easy, comfortable living. The meaning of life is to be found in its pains, with Christ in them.

Let us pray for those from whom we seek help, the people we rely on to advise us, give us directions, and teach us. May they be the good prophets that God wants them to be. May they live good lives that are fruits of God’s goodness, and may they have the courage to preach the cross.

Mt 7:15-20
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