June 16, 2019 – Ruminations by Fr. Pat

Before Lent started, I was exploring the Jewish people as the teachers of Faith to the World. Looking at the development of Israel and how they were learning to become teachers, we were reminded that at some point of their development, they said No! to God; they wanted to follow their own path, not the one planned by God.
Since the Israelites kept saying No! to God by disobeying the Law, Prophets were sent to bring them back into God’s graces. If they listened and reformed their lives, all was well. If they did not change their lives, they were punished, or even exiled.
Many people misunderstand the Prophets. People think that the Prophets were soothsayers, predicting the future. They look at some of the Sunday morning televangelists and come to the wrong conclusion. Thinking that Prophesy is only about the future is far from the truth. Prophets were sent to the Israelites to tell them what was on God’s mind for a particular issue. It may have involved the future (If you continue on this way of life, this is what is going to happen….). It may also have involved the past (Because of your sin, you were exiled….). But the main Message would have been for the Present. God wants them to change their ways and continue of the right path. In today’s world we look at those prophetic messages and apply them to what is relevant in today’s world.
Keep in mind, however, that this approach did not work at times. Every major Prophet in the Old Testament had an assassination plot against them. The Israelites sometimes didn’t like what they heard from them, and would accuse the Prophet of being a False Prophet.
There are no longer Prophets in the world, but that fact doesn’t mean that you may not have a prophetic insight. Maybe it’s something from a homily, or something someone said. Whatever the message may be, it is speaking to you, asking you to change some aspect of your life or how you think about a certain subject.
How do you respond? Do you treat the message with respect? Do you objectively look at yourself and realize that you do need to change? Or, do you utterly reject it, because you don’t like what you are hearing? Do you criticize the messenger or message and refuse even to listen? Do you “write” him/her off as insignificant? How do you deal with constructive criticism or even hostile criticism?

Comments are closed.