We live in a time in need of prophets. A prophet is not someone who foretells the future. A prophet calls the world back to the covenant God made with humanity. For the people of Israel, it was to the covenant made on Mt Sinai; for you and me, it was the covenant made on Calvary by the sacrifice of the Cross. A prophet calls the world back to the Love that freely offered himself on the Cross. If you want to know what that Love looks like: re read Paul’s letter to the Corinthians, today’s second reading. This is the prophetic love of Christ.
The person called to be a prophet is not someone from the desert like John the Baptist or someone who lives on a mountaintop somewhere. The prophets of today as a close as looking in the mirror. How often have you heard the words of the anointing with Sacred Chrism at a Baptism….”you share now in the ministry of Christ who is Priest, Prophet and King.” The you that is referred to is the baby or child…..but it is also you and me. We are all prophets. We are all called to refashion the world. Jesus died so that we could be free to rebuild the world by His grace.
The challenge is to own who we are as prophets and live it. With the passage of the Reproductive Health Act and the slippery slope that it creates, we need to be prophetic in our stand against it. The slippery slope is an open door to euthanasia, assisted suicide, etc. This cheapening of life will also open the door to capital punishment for any reason, to a cutting a funding for social services, putting the mentally ill in prisons, etc. This Act cheapens life in all its stages and erodes one of the primary beliefs of our faith: that each person is created in the image and likeness of Almighty God and therefore deserving to be treated with respect and dignity love. A prophetic stance demands we work across the board for every single human person in the world.
This is Christian Love….and here will be true test of our prophetic call. How we will treat those who have chosen to make these laws and those who disagree with us? Yes, we need to be angry, but our anger needs to be used to build and not hate. Violence will solve nothing; anger that is repressed in our hearts will destroy us. Our anger needs to empower us to be stand up and be heard; to get involved in changing our world. Again, I refer us all back to today’s Second reading…..this is the blue print of how we are to be prophets. As prophets, we risk being seen as naïve and out of touch. As prophets, we must dare to dream that the Kingdom is real. We must risk that God will use us to be the ones who build His Kingdom.
I dream of a society in which we have alternatives to all these social ills; a place where a woman is treated with dignity and not an object, where babies are seen as the future not a problem to be dealt with, where a poor person is given the opportunities to a different life, a felon is able to leave prison and rebuild his or her life, a drug addict is able to have services and support in his or her recovery a woman who has had an abortion finds healing, acceptance and forgiveness in our midst, etc.…..as prophets, we have the mandate to not only talk about this Kingdom. God empowers us to make it happen.
This is what a disciple does. He or she or me gets their hands dirty and works side by side with people of different faiths, color, race, whether they come to Mass or not, whoever and love this world into a better place. It is up to us to roll up our sleeves and do. People may threaten to throw us off a cliff; but we will be in good company: the crowd wanted to do that to Jesus. Can we expect anything else?