St. Paul wrote to Timothy: "Let no one have contempt for your youth, but set an example for those who believe, in speech, conduct, love, faith, and purity." Likewise, we, as Catholic disciples of Jesus, must not let any external criteria get in the way of our calling to evangelize the Truth of God's Divine Mercy in Jesus Christ. Through word and deed we must deliver the message of God's Mercy, disregarding our superficial inadequacies, trusting solely in God's grace and the gifts He has given us.
But you say, 'I am not a prophet, I am not a preacher!' Well, you are dead wrong.
"Do not neglect the gift you have, which was conferred on you through the prophetic word with the imposition of hands by the presbyterate." Certainly, these words consist first, and foremost, in Paul's message to Timothy concerning his priestly ordination. And we must always respect Jesus' design in the necessary ecclesial hierarchy of Peter and the Apostles. For Sacramental Ordination, in words, chrism, and laying on of hands delivers the prophetic gifts of the Holy Spirit--to the recipient--in official leadership and humble service. But surprise, surprise! When we are baptized and confirmed, we are also called to prophetic ministry through word, chrism, and laying on of hands. Yes, we must be obedient to our Pope and Bishops, and respect our Pastor and priests. Yet, we must also fully engage in our prophetic calling.
But, 'how,' you may ask?
(The Scripture verses (above), are from 1 Timothy 4:12-16)
"The works of his hands are faithful and just; sure are all his precepts...wrought in truth and equity...holy and awesome is his name...The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom; prudent are all who live by it. His praise endures forever." Psalm 111:7-10
Truly 'Prophet' is a daunting title in a world unappreciative of the 'supernatural,' especially when it is associated with official religion. But, was it ever any different? Did Isaiah and Jeremiah and Elijah and Amos and St. John the Baptist receive a hero's welcome, or receive the accolades of the general public? Every one of these prophets was deemed unworthy, in some superficial way, right from the start. Every one of these prophets had, along with God given talents, God permitted deficiencies. But the Holy Spirit within, inspired their willing, and obedient, spirit, to rejoice in sharing God's Truth, no matter the circumstance. And their methodology was simple. They trusted that the 'works of his hands are faithful and just,' and preached the surety of 'all his precepts,' showing God's utter 'truth and equity,' revealing God's power to heal in His 'holy and awesome' name. And in wrapping all of this in golden faithfulness, the prophet always remembered that 'fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom' and 'prudent are all who live by it.'
All this, moreover, they prophetically shared while witnessing--through religious piety--that 'His praise endures forever.'
Yet, unlike the Old Testament prophets, to include the Inter-Testament prophecy of John the Baptist, we have the whole story! Therefore, above all the prophecy previously stated, we must share the Good News of the Crucified, Risen, and Eucharistic Christ! For He who forgives our sins, Emmanuel, is among us in the Spirit animated Sacrament, Word, and Church. Therefore, our words and deeds must reflect God's Mercy in the gift of faith as witnessed to in the gospel: "He said to her, 'Your sins are forgiven.' The others at table said to themselves, 'Who is this who even forgives sins?' But he said to the woman, 'Your faith has saved you; go in peace.'"Luke 7:36-50