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  • Nicholas Sheehy LC

Living as prophets in the world



Lk 11:29-32

While still more people gathered in the crowd, Jesus said to them, “This generation is an evil generation; it seeks a sign, but no sign will be given it, except the sign of Jonah. Just as Jonah became a sign to the Ninevites, so will the Son of Man be to this generation. At the judgment the queen of the south will rise with the men of this generation and she will condemn them, because she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon, and there is something greater than Solomon here. At the judgment the men of Nineveh will arise with this generation and condemn it, because at the preaching of Jonah they repented, and there is something greater than Jonah here.”


By Baptism, we share in the priesthood of Christ, in his prophetic and royal mission. (cf. Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1268) Today, we hear about Jonah as a prophet. Jonah had a tough life. He seemed to be an ordinary Jew. He found it very difficult to face a mission of preaching to the Ninevites. They seemed too pagan, too far away to be worthy of God’s salvation. We can also judge others and their worthiness of receiving the message of God. If we are going to be identified with Jesus as prophets through our baptism, we must realize that it is not our place to judge them, but rather to witness to them.


As prophets, in the first place, we are called to be signs to others of the message of God in the world. For this to happen, we must believe that God is communicating to the world. If God is simply a far-off being with no interest in the world, there would be no interest in giving a message. As Christians, we know that this is not the case. We know that he intervenes over and over in human history, trying to bring us to salvation. How well have we assimilated the message of salvation? How well do we carry God’s message in our own lives? When we are convinced of this Good News, it is much easier to become signs of hope in the world. When we live out our faith with joy, others see it and are inspired. Every day, we see people who inspire us to be better. We are called to do the same for them.


Prayer is another source of hope we are called to share with others. A prophet shares what the Lord has told him. What is it that Jesus is telling you in prayer? This is a treasure that you are meant to share with others. Somebody needs the words of encouragement that are in your power to give. So many people are dying from lack of water, lack of shelter, lack of food. But many more are dying inside because of a lack of hope. When you give hope, you give life.



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