Reflection: 3rd Monday of Lent

Mass: Monday, March 8, 2010
First Reading: 2 Kgs 5:1-15ab
Responsorial: Psalm 42:2, 3; 43:3, 4
Gospel: Lk 4:24-30

A prophet is one who has been identified as “an individual who is inspired to proclaim the will of God in a visionary and new way.”

Inspired by the readings for today, my thoughts focused on the role of prophets in our world. In the Gospel, Jesus remarks that prophets often have been identified as the crazy ones who are the misfits, rebels, troublemakers—particularly in their native place.

The world would have been better off if it had listened to these prophets, rather than rejected them. So, if a genuine prophet of God were to enter our chapel at this moment, would we be ready? Would we be open to the prophet’s message? Can we discern how the prophet may invite us to deeper understanding of God’s presence in our daily life?

And while it is important to be vigilant and wary of those ‘false prophets’ whose thoughts are not inspired by God, I think there is some wisdom in this train of thought:

  • The Church is a prophetic voice in our world.
  • Religious orders, such as the S.M. and FMI, are prophetic voices in the Church.
  • A local community within the S.M. can be a prophetic voice in the order.
  • An individual Marianist can be a prophetic voice in the community…who then also can be a prophetic voice to the order, the Church and the world.

By virtue of the gifts that each one of us have been blessed with, along with our desire to follow Christ in a unique lifestyle that is rooted in faith—seeing how God is present in all parts of our daily lives—I believe that everyone in this chapel is called to be a prophetic voice in our world.

What makes this vocation truly Marianist is that it is done together with one another—and that is what we value as the gift of community.

We each are blessed with different gifts, personalities, abilities and other talents that we have yet to develop. By combining those gifts, we are better able to discern how God calls us to be prophetic and respond to the needs of others.

If God had wanted all of us to be the same, why would God make each one of us uniquely different? And that gift also is the challenge—to combine our individual uniqueness into “a community of one heart and mind.”

So what does it take to listen and learn from the prophetic voices in our midst? Disposition of openness, willingness to dialog / staying at the table, fidelity to prayer, patience, and the humility to remember we always are in God’s midst when “two or three are gathered in God’s name” as promised in scripture; and this means not only in chapel, but also at the dinner table, in our community and office meetings, our upcoming consultations for different stages of formation, and even our fun nites!

As we prepare to receive the Eucharist this evening, let us pray in gratitude for the prophetic voices in our world that have moved us forward, and for the faithfulness to recognize those in our midst.

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