Sunday, February 1, 2015

Listening to the Prophets

Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time - Year B

Deuteronomy 18:15-20
Mark 1:21-28

In today’s first reading, we hear Moses speaking  to all of the people regarding his own role as a prophet, and teaching about a greater prophet yet to come.  The Gospel reading brings us Jesus himself, “astonishing” the people with his teaching because he “taught them as one having authority and not as the scribes,” not as a mere repeater of teaching, but a teacher with a clearly prophetic voice.

The charism of prophecy is described in Sheila Mellick’s Uniquely His booklet as “the special grace to envision God’s will clearly enough to communicate a message, truth or call to God’s people, of actions needed today for change tomorrow.”  How astonishing must it have been to clearly recognize the charism of prophecy in the voice of Moses and the voice of Jesus on those occasions!

Our lives are filled, oftentimes, with noise, both literal and figurative. Voices come at us from all directions: a person we know and interact with, history, teachers, news sources, media, entertainment, the list goes on and on. Those who speak with authority too often lack wisdom; those who speak with wisdom too often go unheard.

A true charism is recognizable within each of us in a number of ways.  Our charisms are, after all, spiritual gifts, given by God to each at Baptism and strengthened by the Sacraments. A charism is used to serve God and others, and charisms have supernatural characteristics.

How do we recognize the charisms of prophecy and wisdom when we encounter them in our contemporary world?

Are we listening carefully, to hear the voices of the prophets among us? 

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