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(Part 20)


December 16, 2019
Today’s reading: Numbers 24:2-17

As baptized Catholics, we share in the priestly, kingly and prophetic ministry of our Lord Jesus. As MFC, we are “of Christ,” and as such, we are disciples who serve him. Crucial in today’s world that is steeped in great evil and darkness, where the Judeo-Christian culture has been subverted and overturned, is the work of prophets, who speak God’s truth and challenges Christians to live the way of Christ.

What is a prophet? He is “one who hears what God says, and knows what the Most High knows, who sees what the Almighty sees, in rapture and with eyes unveiled” (v.4). There are three important elements in this definition of a prophet.

One, the prophet hears what God says. A prophet is one who is attentive to God and His word. He has become sensitive to God’s promptings as he is growing in holiness, as he immerses himself in the scriptures, as he becomes totally obedient to the will of God.

Two, the prophet knows what God knows. These are about gifts of wisdom and knowledge. A prophet is to have the mind of Christ.[1] It is not a wisdom of this age.[2] It is not the spirit of the world but the Spirit that is from God, enabling one to understand the things of God.[3] It is being granted knowledge of the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven.[4]

Three, the prophet sees what God sees. This is about vision. It is seeing the condition of the world and people within it. It is being aware of the great dangers to faith and the forces working against the Kingdom of God. It is realizing that the forces of good and of evil are locked in a vicious war and that the ultimate prize are souls. The prophet is one “whose eye is true” (v.3).

Now the prophet is not just attuned to the mind and heart of God, but he needs to speak as God’s mouthpiece to others. “Whatever the Lord says I must say.” (v.13b). He speaks in the name of God and thus tells it as God directs him. He holds nothing back, even at the risk of incurring the wrath of others, just as Balak exploded “in a blaze of anger at Balaam” (v.10a). He does not try to curry human favor and certainly cannot be bought. “Even if Balak gave me his house full of silver and gold, I could not of my own accord do anything, good or evil, contrary to the command of the Lord” (v.13a). He is not speaking for himself, but only for God who sends him.

We as MFC are called to be prophetic. We have been placed in this world at this time in order to proclaim Christ without fear or favor. To do this, we must grow in holiness so we can hear what God says to us. We must grow in the wisdom and knowledge that are given by God, as we pray, study the Bible, and undergo formation. We must see what is happening all around us with the eyes of God, which should spur us to greater zeal for our work of evangelization and mission. We must speak out boldly about Christ and his righteousness.

Only as we strive to live out our prophetic calling can we be truly founded on the Rock that is Christ.

* * *

[1] 1 Corinthians 2:16.
[2] 1 Corinthians 2:6.
[3] 1 Corinthians 2:12.
[4] Matthew 13:11.
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