We need Prophets
I’ll tell you a true story. Way back when, when I was young and foolish, I used to jump out of airplanes. Yes, that’s right, I jumped out of a perfectly good airplane, for fun. On my very first jump, once we reached altitude, I was told to sit in the door. The instructor then says, “Ready.” This is not a question! He said, “Ready,” I said, “No!” I was frozen in fear. He pushed me out the door.
Once the chute opened, I finally stopped screaming, my heart started beating again and my stomach got out of my throat, I calmed down and enjoyed the ride. I sailed through the clouds. I sat back and enjoyed the sense of freedom, the spectacular view, and the silence of just floating in air. It was a great experience.
The point is, sometimes it takes a push in the back side to get us to do what we need to do.
This pandemic and the turmoil we are experiencing in our society is just that. It is a kick in the backside in order to wake us up so that we are no longer frozen in fear.
We are all prophets by virtue of our Baptism. We were Baptized: Priest, King, and Prophet. Like Jeremiah, the Lord called us in the womb before we were born, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I dedicated you, a prophet to the nations I appointed you.”
What the world needs is to return to the Lord! What the world needs are Prophets to proclaim his love through word and deed. Like Jeremiah, you will be rejected. You will meet opposition on all sides. You will be a laughing stock, but the love of the Lord should be as if a fire were burning in your heart. Even though you may grow weary, you cannot hold back!
In Jeremiah’s time, it was Babylon that presented “terror on every side.” The end of Judah came with the distraction of Jerusalem and the Babylonian exile. It is our secular society today that presents “terror on every side,” and we are threatened with our own exile if we do not, as a society, return to the Lord. We are headed toward destruction. It is up to you to speak the word of God. It is up to you to speak by your life. Embrace that fire that will consume you if you don’t speak it.
Jeremiah struggled, yet he could not hold back. If you are afraid and unsure, remember, as Jeremiah says, “The Lord is with me like a mighty champion.”
We need prophets in our schools, in the workplace, in our homes, in the streets, where ever you may go. God has no time for excuses! Before you were born he knew you and he called you.
Jeremiah, as a precursor to Jesus, was put in prison, ridiculed and rejected. Look to our Lord; threatened, ridiculed, imprisoned, and put to death. We know the fate of prophets, but we can’t let that deter us. The need is urgent! The time is now!
The Lord is giving us a swift kick in the back side. You can take action and put your trust in the Lord, the way I had to trust that my chute would open, live up to your Baptismal promises and be a prophet to heal a world in free fall, or remain frozen in fear and fall to a certain death.
We are sent to do spiritual combat. We are in a war waged “against the enemy of human nature.” Quoting the Holy Father, “What is at stake in this war? It is whether in my heart, as well as in the heart of the Church and of humanity itself, the Kingdom of heaven will be established, with its law of love and the Lord’s way of life: poverty, humility and service, or whether the kingdom of this world will triumph, with its laws and values of wealth, vanity, and pride.” Ask yourself how you can be a friend of Jesus? How can I become more like him, more poor, more humble, and more dedicated to service?
Let us pray that the Lord, grant us the grace not to be deaf to the call to be a prophet and that our minds and hearts be open to hear where he wants us to go. Show us Lord, HOW to accomplish what you have given us as our personal mission.
May God bless you with discomfort,
At easy answers, half-truths,
And superficial relationships
So that you may live
Deep within your heart.
May God bless you with anger
At injustice, oppression,
And exploitation of people,
So that you may work for
Justice, freedom and peace.
May God bless you with tears,
To shed for those who suffer pain,
Rejection, hunger and war,
So that you may reach out your hand
To comfort them and
To turn their pain to joy
And may God bless you
With enough foolishness
To believe that you can
Make a difference in the world,
So that you can do
What others claim cannot be done
To bring justice and kindness
To all our children and the poor.