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(Part 59)


July 16, 2015

Today’s readings:
Exodus 3:13-20
Psalm 105:1-27

Why do we evangelize? It is due to God’s aim, which is to “make known among the peoples his deeds!” (Ps 105:1b). And of course His greatest deed is the salvation won for us by Jesus on the cross. In this work of evangelization, God uses His people as His instruments. He raises leaders among His people to help move everyone else for the mission. For both His people and their leaders, in order that they might know what they are called to do, God raises and anoints prophets and visionaries “to instruct his princes as he desired, to teach his elders wisdom.” (Ps 105:22). They guide, teach, admonish, encourage, support and move God’s people along the path ordained for them. “Go and gather the elders of the Israelites, and tell them, The Lord .... has appeared to me .... so I have decided to lead you up ....” (Ex 3:16-17).

God raised Moses and assured him, “They will listen to you.” (Ex 3:18a). Unfortunately, many of God’s people today no longer listen to those sent by God to teach and lead them.

The consequences of not listening to God’s prophets is catastrophic. Pharaoh did not listen to Moses. “Yet I know that the king of Egypt will not allow you to go unless his hand is forced. So I will stretch out my hand and strike Egypt ....” (Ex 3:19-20a). For rejecting or just not recognizing and listening to today’s prophets, the world is in deep darkness, Christian churches have succumbed to the culture of death, the Catholic Church has been weakened and sees her flock dispersed, parishes and lay communities experience conflicts and division.

But if only our Church and our community would heed those anointed to lead them, then God can and will work in power. God calls, God anoints, God equips, God empowers. God’s work in and through His people is just so important, so crucial. “Let it be known to you that this salvation of God has been sent to the Gentiles; they will listen.” (Acts 28:28). They will listen! God’s word is living and effective! The harvest is bountiful! But if God’s people cannot get their act together, then they will lack effectiveness and will not experience the full force of the power of the Holy Spirit. If they, especially leaders, do not humble themselves, are not submitted to community order, and are not obedient to God’s commands, they will end up arguing and bickering and going their own way and fomenting dissent. “And when he had said this, the Jews left, seriously arguing among themselves.” (Acts 28:29).[1]

So God’s people need to recognize the authentic prophets and visionaries in their midst. This is the way God’s people can be blessed, and be used mightily by God in carrying out the mission entrusted to them. The role of prophets and visionaries is so crucial that God warns His people, “Do not touch my anointed ones, to my prophets do no harm.” (Ps 105:15). Those anointed are recipients of God’s revelation. How have you harmed them and hampered their task? Have you spoken against them? Have you opposed their God-given vision? Have you betrayed them?

If however God’s people do listen, then they will be greatly empowered. The slave people who were the Israelites became the dominant power in the region. The Church led by fishermen and ordinary people became the dominant religion in the world. The same can happen to God’s people today. “God greatly increased his people, made them more numerous than their foes.” (Ps 105:24).

Jesus already won victory on the cross. It is a shame that His people today are snatching defeat out of victory.

[1] The Western text has added here this verse that is not found in the best Greek manuscripts.

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