Thursday, October 17, 2013

"If you really want to love Jesus, first learn to suffer, because suffering teaches you to love."

“If we only knew the precious treasure hidden in infirmities, we would receive them with the same joy with which we receive the greatest benefits, and we would bear them without ever complaining or showing signs of weariness.” --St. Vincent de Paul

Gospel Text: (LK 11:47-54)
The Lord said:
“Woe to you who build the memorials of the prophets
whom your fathers killed.
Consequently, you bear witness and give consent
to the deeds of your ancestors,
for they killed them and you do the building.
Therefore, the wisdom of God said,
‘I will send to them prophets and Apostles;
some of them they will kill and persecute’
in order that this generation might be charged
with the blood of all the prophets
shed since the foundation of the world,
from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah
who died between the altar and the temple building.
Yes, I tell you, this generation will be charged with their blood!
Woe to you, scholars of the law!
You have taken away the key of knowledge.
You yourselves did not enter and you stopped those trying to enter.”
When Jesus left, the scribes and Pharisees
began to act with hostility toward him
and to interrogate him about many things,
for they were plotting to catch him at something he might say.

Who are prophets of our time?

A prophetic voice is one that points us to radical grace of the true life in Jesus Christ. A prophet today urges us to reestablish a relationship with God in which we no longer treat others with fear, suspicion, and judgment but where we show willingness to listen, dialogue, and thereby accomplish the works of peace, humility, healing, and hope.

It is truly a difficulty to identify the prophets of our own time—even more those of our own community—but nevertheless they are among us. In all likelihood we may not recognize them: our hearts may be turned against their words. We may have an agenda of our own that takes precedence over other things. It may be that we prefer to be guided by the political voices of our times or by the morality and standards of a world that refuses to consider that a word from God is possible at all.

When we sit down to read the news, and when we read of the woes—of wars, poverty, immorality, disease, and death—we must ask what voice speaks to us today of this world, and what voice of a prophet there is to direct us to a new world, a new life, based on a reality formed in the image of He who came to give us hope for tomorrow.

While the prophets of today may not be easy to identify, and those who are identified are surely to encounter opposition as such, we can nevertheless know that prophetic situations exist among us now as much as, perhaps even more than, at any other time in human history. In a way that we may not have yet considered, the Holy Spirit has given the role of prophet to the Church. Each of us shares by virtue of Baptism in Christ's role as priest, prophet, and king.

While prophets will come and go, and some are surely to be great, we do well to bear in mind that each of us is to share in the voice of the prophet by standing up and acting for what is good, righteous, decent, just, and true. Each of us is to be a defender of the faith in everything it means to live faith by building a world of lasting peace, hope, healing, and restoration.

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