Bishop Thomas Gumbletonby Bishop Thomas Gumbleton
Pax Christi USA Teacher of Peace

On this beautiful summer Saturday evening, we have a very heavy topic flowing out of our Scripture lessons. It’s about the prophets and prophecy. This will be our Gospel message for a couple of weeks now. When we start to think about and reflect on the topic of prophets we probably think, “What would that have to do with me?” First of all, God still sends prophets into our midst. We still have the opportunity to hear them, to listen.

Or to be like the people in Babylon where the Jews had been sent into exile, we can reject the prophets in our midst even as they rejected Ezekiel. Or even as in Nazareth, Jesus’ own family, friends, people he grew up with rejected him; they would not listen. So that’s one thing we have to begin to reflect on — are we open to hearing God’s word proclaimed to us by prophets in our midst today? But then a second thing and maybe even more important: Each one of us is called to be a prophet. Maybe you think, “That’s kind of absurd. I’m a prophet?”

If you go back to the text of the baptism by which each of us was baptized, you find out that at the time when you’re anointed by the minister of baptism, anointed with holy chrism, the minister said, “As Jesus was anointed priest, prophet, and king, so may you live always as a member of his body sharing everlasting life.” In other words, we too, at our baptisms have been anointed to carry on the very work of Jesus, the work of priest offering sacrifice here at our altar every week, the work of ruler guiding, showing others the way, but also the work of prophet...

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