We are all Prophets

Prophecy has nothing to do with telling the future. Nor is it about
changing people’s lives. Prophesy is about making the word of the Lord
known even in the most hostile and dangerous situations. You can see
the truth of this in Jeremiah’s experience as a prophet.

God uses very harsh language in accusing the Israelites of abandoning
the covenant. “They walked in the hardness of their evil hearts and
turned their backs to me … [from the very beginning when] I sent my
servants the prophets … they stiffened their necks and did worse than
their fathers.” God, with no attempt to soften his words for Jeremiah’s
sake, bluntly warns the prophet, “When you speak all these words to
them, they will not listen to you either; when you call to them they
will not answer you.” Nonetheless God commands Jeremiah to speak out to
the people in harsh reprimand, even though there is no real hope that
the people will change. The essential is to be accomplished: the word
will be made present to men. Because of Jeremiah’s preaching, he has
become the target of ruthless ridicule and bitter mockery. He has been
imprisoned and a mob seeks his death. Yet God urges him to make his
word known to his persecutors.

Jesus, the last and the greatest of the prophets, experienced this same
treatment at the hands of those he came to save. He whose life was an
open book inviting all to reconcile with the Father, is accused in
today’s Gospel of being a demon who casts out devils by the power of
the prince of devils. In Jesus’ case those who seek his death would be
successful.

Are we called to be prophets? Yes, through our actions rather than with
our words: to stand for Christian values, to take counter-cultural
Christian positions, to be uncompromisingly honest, to be
compassionate, to be on the side of the weak, the marginalized, the
rejected.

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