FOR REFLECTION AND DISCUSSION: EASTER WEEK ONE
We are prophets sent to bear witness as Christ’s risen body: We are all the “Church.” The Church’s job is my job. My “job description,” given in a solemn anointing with chrism in the ritual of Baptism, is to be the risen Christ, Prophet, Priest and King, and let him continue his mission in me.
Our faith: How many of these statements do you believe?
The first work of a Christian is to bear witness to the resurrection by showing that Jesus is alive and active in us who are his risen body on earth.
For the living Jesus to be visible in us, we have to live and act in such a way that our life cannot be explained except in the light of the Gospel and by the power of the risen Jesus living and acting in us. This is what it means to be a prophet.
In practice, this means we decide never to ask again just whether something would be right or wrong, to our advantage or not, acceptable to our friends or not. We will ask: “How will I be bearing witness to Jesus Christ — to his values, to his presence within me — if I choose to do this?
Prophets are those whose faith lets them see how teachings in the Gospel that are general and abstract apply to the concrete circumstances of their own time and place.
In the Apostles’ preaching of the Good News, the first step is an event that shocks, that raises a question. This is called pre-evangelization. It prepares people to listen.
Today this is found in the lifestyle of the prophets, which should be different enough to raise questions that cannot be answered without the preaching of the Gospel. This is the witness that prepares people to listen to the Good News.
The cornerstone of Christian life is constant interaction with Jesus present within us: consulting his mind, responding to his inspirations, relying on his strength.
The prophets are those who follow rules in concrete circumstances according to the goal of the law and the mind of God, consulting the Spirit of Jesus within them.
A guideline for discerning whether an inspiration is from God is to ask if the choices we make will be life-giving for ourselves and others. Life is a sign of God. This is an application of Jesus’ principle: “By their fruits you will know them.”
Embody the Good News in your lifestyle: Live in a way that cannot be explained except through the principles taught by Jesus.
Combine courage with love. Be ready to accept rejection and hostility without withdrawing faith, loyalty or love.
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