Thought for the weekend: A prophet for Christ
This weekend, people from all over the Catholic diocese of Down and Connor are meeting in convention with Bishop Noel Treanor at Our Lady and St Patrick's College, Knock, Belfast, to reflect on the vital interaction between our Christian faith and daily life.
As we do so, the portions of the Word of God, which many Christians will be listening to on Sunday, speak of a yearning in the Old Testament for all God's people to be prophets and for the Lord to pour out His Spirit on them all (Numbers 11:29).
This desire, which was originally expressed by Moses, is realised in the New Testament, when, on the Day of Pentecost, God sends forth His Holy Spirit on all who believe in His Son, to equip them for the continuance of the mission of Jesus Christ in the world.
The mission of Jesus, in which we now participate through our Baptism, is most often expressed in works that are unnoticed and undramatic.
Jesus says, for example: "If you give so much as a cup of cold water in my name, you shall not lose your reward." (Mark 9:41)
Our belonging to Jesus Christ radically affects every level of our human living.
There is no part of my life that can be a separate compartment from my living communion with Jesus, which I have through His Holy Spirit, living in me.
If anyone, claiming to be a Christian, attempts to have a part of his or her life hidden, as it were, from Christ, that part of his and her life will become toxic and the cause of spiritual death.
That is why Jesus solemnly warns us: "If any part of you should cause you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better that you enter eternal life maimed than to be whole and go to hell." (Mark 9:47-48)
A prophet is one who speaks and also truly lives the Word of God.
May every part of our human living, gently yet powerfully, declare God's living Word of mercy and compassion for all, especially for those who are suffering and in need.