Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Tuesday of the Twenty-fourth Week in Ordinary Time

(I Corinthians 12:12-14.27-31a; Luke 7:11-17)

Prophets speak on God’s behalf.  They often utter truths that no one wants to hear. When Judah was being besieged by Assyrian troops, Isaiah told the people to trust in God and not in strategic alliances.  When Israel’s economy was humming, Amos chastised the nation for ignoring the needs of the poor.  In both readings today mention is made of prophets in New Testament times.

Paul lists prophets as the second most important ministry of the Church.  Prophets were not ordained but had a natural ability to speak a necessary but unexpressed truth at a given moment.  Especially Luke’s gospel presents Jesus as a prophet.  Like the primordial prophets Elijah and Elisha he raises the widow’s son from the dead.  He also reveals God’s will on questions like whether one should heal on the Sabbath.  Jesus’ prophecy culminates in Jerusalem when he predicts the destruction of the city.  He tells the people to lead virtuous so that he might rescue them at the critical hour.

The Church has prophets although not a formal ministry of prophecy.  Pope St. Paul VI was a prophet when he wrote the difficult truth of Humanae Vitae.  Prophetic voices are being raised now.  They speak of the need to include women at all level of Church decision-making.  We best listen carefully or we may be defying the will of God.