The Scriptures are littered with the words of the prophets.
Those who are called, by God, to speak His word (which is the Truth) to others.
I’m hoping that all of you know this, but just in case you don’t,
WE are in this category!
WE are prophets, too!
If you have been Baptized, you are called by God to be a prophet.
In the Catholic Rite of Baptism this truth is proclaimed to us when we are anointed with the oil of Chrism.
*That’s the one that smells really good and is a sign of the Holy Spirit, Who comes to dwell within us at Baptism.
As our heads are being anointed with Chrism, this is the prayer that is prayed:
“Almighty God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, has freed you from sin, given you new birth by water and the Holy Spirit, and joined you to his holy people. He now anoints you with the Chrism of salvation, so that you may remain as a member of Christ – Priest, PROPHET, and King, unto eternal life.” Amen.
Baptism makes us members of Christ, and as such, we are priest – able to pray and hear God in prayer. We are kings – true members now of His royal family. And we are prophets – called to proclaim God and His Word to others, to share our faith with others!
We will do this in different ways, in different vocations: some as spouses and parents, some as ordained priests or consecrated religious, some as dedicated single people…
but regardless of how, all of us are given this dignity!
So, when scripture speaks about the call and work of prophets, they are speaking about your call – and mine – to be a prophet!
As the LORD spoke to me, the Spirit entered into me and set me on my feet, and I heard the one who was speaking say to me: Son of man, I am sending you to the Israelites, rebels who have rebelled against me; they and their ancestors have revolted against me to this very day. Hard of face and obstinate of heart are they to whom I am sending you. But you shall say to them: Thus says the LORD God! And whether they heed or resist – for they are a rebellious house – they shall know that a prophet has been among them.Ezekiel 2:2-5
Ezekiel was called to be a prophet to his own people. His people already know about God, but have turned away from Him and are rebelling against Him. You and I are also called to be prophets to our own people – to our country, to our own family, to those who perhaps already know something about God, who could tell the general story of the Bible, even those who have already been baptized, but who have in various ways “rebelled” against the LORD or who simply do not follow Him.
All of us know family or friends who were baptized, but who no longer practice their faith.
God is calling you to be a prophet to them.
Every fourth of July, we celebrate the birth of our nation. A nation largely founded with Judeo-Christian principles. But our people more and more seem to be abandoning these principles.
God is calling you to be a prophet to them!
And yes, there will most likely be resistance.
There was resistance for Ezekiel who was called to speak to his people who were “hard of face and obstinate of heart.” And there was resistance for Paul who suffered from “insults, hardships, persecutions, and constraints” – a resistance which was par & parcel from his “thorn in the flesh.”
Brothers and sisters: That I, Paul, might not become too elated, because of the abundance of the revelations, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, an angel of Satan, to beat me, to keep me from being too elated. Three times I begged the Lord about this, that it might leave me, but he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness.” I will rather boast most gladly of my weaknesses, in order that the power of Christ may dwell with me. Therefore, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions and constraints, for the sake of Christ; for when I am weak, then I am strong.2 Corinthians 12: 7-10
And there was even resistance for Jesus,
who in the Gospel had
His own people,
from His native place,
“take offense at him” and largely reject Him.
Jesus departed from there and came to his native place, accompanied by his disciples. When the sabbath came he began to teach in the synagogue, and many who heard him were astonished. They said, “Where did this man get all this? What kind of wisdom has been given him? What mighty deeds are wrought by his hands! Is he not the carpenter, the son of Mary, and the brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon? And are not his sisters here with us?” And they took offense at him. Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his native place and among his own kin and in his own house.” So he was not able to perform any mighty deed there, apart form curing a few sick people by laying his hands on them. He was amazed at their lack of faith.Mark 6: 1-6
Yet, even still, despite the possibility of rejection or even persecution, the LORD has made us prophets to speak His Word to others!
And if you do not share your faith with them, who will?
If you do not open the door of the Church to them, who will?
If you do not call and invite them home, who will?
However, there are two very important parts of being a prophet we must remember!
First, that it is not our words that we are called to speak, but the LORD’s.
*We are called to proclaim His truth, not our own changing opinions.
The LORD said to Ezekiel, “…you shall say to them: Thus says the LORD God!”
Not, ‘thus says Dawn Marie,’ or ‘thus says Fr. Christopher…or my friend Suzie-Q.’
We must humbly admit that we don’t have the words of everlasting life,
BUT CHRIST DOES!
We are called to proclaim His Gospel!
To proclaim what Christ has said in His Scriptures and through His Church.
What a waste of time it would be to proclaim ourselves!
*Which is why it is so important for us to know the scriptures and the teachings of the Church.
And finally, in every circumstance, as prophets, to lift our eyes to heaven, to the LORD, “pleading for his mercy” and help (as the Psalms frequently remind us!)
To you I lift up my eyes who are enthroned in heaven – as the eyes of servants are on the hands of their master. As the eyes of a maid are on the hands of her mistress, so are our eyes on the LORD, our God, till he have pity on us. Have pity on us, O LORD, have pity on us, for we are more than sated with contempt; our souls are more than sated with the mockery of the arrogant, with the contempt of the proud.Psalm 123
In the end we do not rely on our own strength to do this work, but on His.
And because we proclaim Christ, we can confidently rely on His strength, on His power that can work perfectly even through our weaknesses!
Indeed, by His grace, we all shall be made the prophets He has called us to be!
Let’s try beginning with the very simple invitation to, “Come home,” …
“just come Home.”
hugs n’ blessings to all the prophets who will be giving the best gift that we can give to our family, to our nation, and to our hungry and thirsty world!