Our Ministries
26 Jan

Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Are We a Non-Prophet Organization?

Maybe we should just stay with that question. A few years ago, Pope Francis was quoted as saying, “Prophecy makes noise, uproar, some say ‘a mess.’ But in reality, the charism of religious people is like yeast: prophecy announces the spirit of the Gospel” (“A Big Heart Open to God,” America, Sept. 30, 2013).

All of us are familiar with the prophets of the Old Testament. We are also aware of prophets in our day. Who are the people in our time who “cause an uproar” or intentionally “make a mess”  announcing the spirt of the Gospel? What are these ordinary people trying to call out?

In Mark’s gospel this weekend, we read “The unclean spirit convulsed him and with a loud cry came out of him.” It was the voice of Jesus that made this happen. Do we have the same voice, the same authority to cast out unclean spirits? How do we name or identify those unclean spirits today?

Let me suggest a few: human trafficking, pollution, poverty, greed, war, domestic violence, abusive power, bullying, pornography, predatory lending. You will probably identify others. Speaking out, walking the talk and action are not easy. We can throw our hands up in despair and declare “That’s life today.” Or we can overcome our anxieties, adhere to Jesus’ teaching and trust that God will be with us in our efforts.

Does Jesus speak with authority in your life? Do you think he speaks with authority to our popular culture? Will we choose to follow Jesus, announce the gospel, and use our voices to speak with authority in order to cast out unclean spirits? Or will we be a non-prophet organization?

Let us pray: Make the unclean spirits obey you, within our small efforts. Give us courage to speak and act for Gospel values, especially the dignity of all persons—without exception. Amen!