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Get into the ring! How this works...

This is easy! Each week on Thursday I post my homily main focus for preaching this coming Sunday. What I am hoping for is a reaction from people in the pews. Does my "focus" connect with your daily life, faith, and experience? Or not? Either affirm the direction I am going in (by giving me an example from your life) or challenge me, ask for clarification! Questions are the best! Reaction rather than reflection is what I'm looking for here. Don't be afraid, get in the ring. Ole!

Friday, September 28, 2012

Prophetic Citizenship!

-Last Sunday's homily is available by email
-This Sunday's Scriptures can be found at>>>
-I will be celebrating mass this weekend at 4:00 on Sat and 8:00 on Sunday

Be not just "faithful, but Prophetic!

The Scriptures for this 26th Sunday in ordinary time as well as the context of the political season brings the question of "what is God doing in our midst and who is accomplishing God's will in our presence".

The role of the prophet is not to "announce the future" but rather to "reveal God present" - literally, to "speak for or on behalf of" God. The question presented in both the first reading and the Gospel text today is the issue of "who" is presenting God's truth or wisdom. Both Moses and Jesus teach and instruct us that the "who" is not the important question. The "what" is of the essence.

Therefore, in our Catholic life we might stop looking for a prophet and begin to search for the "prophetic" within the church. That would demand that we stop considering the person and start considering the message, the truth, the movement of the Spirit of God in our midst.

Our Catholic teaching and ecclesiology does not contribute to this understanding of prophecy. We, like the followers of Moses, are convinced and taught that certain persons, office holders, consecrated people speak on behalf of God. The office of Pope, for example, has swirled for centuries about infallibility: when the pope speaks. Our notions of obedience are referred always to the office holder or the authority figure who speaks on behalf of God.

We have not been trained or instructed to expect the prophetic action of God to come through just the ordinary believer. In spite of the instruction of Jesus and Moses, we give too much credence to person rather than prophecy.

If the truth be told, even the Holy Father or pastor or superior or head of the household must not be obeyed if what they say is not in conformity to the truth of God. That demands discernment by the people of God. Do we have such discernment?

If, in fact, we have all been anointed like Jesus as priest, prophet, and King at our baptism can we not and should we not expect the prophetic action of God to be at work in each of us and in and through all of us as a communal manifestation of the Body of Christ in the world? Should not the Catholic Church as a body be prophetic for the rest of the world-revealing the truth, speaking on behalf of God?

When we hear the call of our church leaders to be engaged in the democratic process of this year's election, we should hear the invitation to be prophetic. Rather than "faithful citizenship" I am hearing the call for "prophetic citizenship"! What I mean is that for a Catholic to discern and hear and know the truth and then to cast a ballot based upon that truth is to be a Catholic prophet to the nation. A vote is the most effective voice that an American citizen has in our democratic society. To vote as a Catholic Christian based upon the principles and values taught by the Church, the call to justice, especially the defense of life, the truth of the gospel, is to speak on behalf of God, which is the definition of prophetic.

Can and will you be a prophet for God, a prophet for the truth, a prophet for life, a prophet for justice, a prophet for freedom, a prophet to the nations? Vote as a believing, living Catholic - that is prophetic. Would that all God's people would be prophets!