Being a prophet in difficult times

| Deacon Gordon Bird | July 23, 2020 | 0 Comments

Information transfer is at its peak performance — good, bad or indifferent. All that glitters or glooms, that sharpens or dulls, that passes or stays is right here before you and your family.

It is probably why the NIMBY (i.e. not in my backyard) term has become next to obsolete. Whether you call it your backyard or safe cave — from remote to rural suburban to downtown living — your dwelling, hence, your family, is an open range to all sorts of facts, fodder and fiction. And, prophet, it is up to you to help sort out the truth — secular and supernatural — starting with those you love most.

First, to clarify, NIMBYs are neutral people — at best — when it comes to addressing challenges or problems that come up which they believe will not directly impact where they live or what they do. If the dilemma (i.e. zoning, environment, urban or industry sprawl, etc.) is affecting someone else’s backyard but “not mine,” no objections arise, and few opinions prevail from the household. Today, nearly every dilemma we read about via the options of multi-media — print, electronic, social, private or public and more — carries weight at dialogues at both day-to-day talks at home and family gatherings. And, religious small groups that involve friends who are like family are not removed from trying to discover with you, prophet, “truth that will set you (us) free.”

Who is the prophet? Or rather, who are the prophets of today? If you are a baptized Christian, simply look in the mirror. At our baptism, we are anointed priest (to sanctify), prophet (to teach) and king (to rule) — all in body and spirit — in service of our Lord.

This prophetic teaching duty (“munus” in Latin) is to speak the truth as a messenger of God. As the prophets of old foreshadowed this role, we are configured to Christ in the modern world today as prophets. As prophets, we are to proclaim our faith. Hence, we are to equip ourselves to be teachers of the truth on the issues at hand. That includes flushing out and trying to make sense of what is practical or foolhardy regarding COVID-19, or the legitimate and non-legitimate racism accusations, nationwide protests, destruction of historical statues and property, the true mantra and mission of various movements, etc. All these issues and others need prophets to rise above the emotion to seek, find and speak truth.

Yes, prophet, this starts in your backyard, to close the divide and strive for unity.

Being given the office and its graces to preside in baptisms, God has blessed me with the responsibility to proclaim to parents, godparents, family and friends of the child being baptized of their “munus” to the newly baptized. The responsibility of family, godparents and friends to teach truth, to live holy lives, to help him or her understand acts of service, of charity and of love. They are to help the child confirm his or her faith later in life, celebrating confirmation. It will help to find order in the midst of what seems chaotic at times. That is why teaching the sacraments and living a sacramental life are so important in embracing goodness, beauty and truth — for all of us. As Catholic Watchmen, the sacraments are the key link to Jesus — the divine priest, prophet and king. We are to emulate our Lord’s example in our backyards, our parishes, our communities.

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Category: Catholic Watchmen