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December 19 - Prophets in our own time

Wednesday, December 19, 2007
Readings: Judges 13:2-7, 24-25a; Psalm 71; Luke 1:5-25

We hear today of how Zechariah was informed of the conception of his son, John the Baptist. John, the gospels tell us, was a prophet, and even more than a Prophet. He is the one who prepares the way for Christ. We hear very little about prophets in our own time. When we do speak of someone as a prophet, it is usually a way of making fun of someone, suggesting that they are eccentric or even mad. John the Baptist seems to fit into the same category: here is a man who lives in the wilderness wearing distinctive clothes and eating a strange diet. What would we think of such a man today I wonder....

But the life of John the Baptist shows us something of what we are all called to be. After all, through our Baptism we share in Christ's prophetic mission. We, just like John, should prepare the way for the coming of Christ. How so? Our lives are mostly pretty ordinary. We have the same kinds of routine to our lives as non-Catholics. We work, eat, sleep, do the shopping, look after the family and so on. But it is within this routine that we are called to prepare a way for the Lord. We need only think of the number of encounters that we have with others each day to realise how important it is that our lives point us towards Christ, and draw others to him too. We may wish to reflect how good a witness we have been to Christ. Maybe there are times when we get in the way, make it hard for others to see Christ. We should also remember the importance of the wilderness, that place of encounter with God that makes it possible for us to be good witnesses, to point beyond ourselves. We all need to try and make sure that we never cease in our efforts to make a space for God in prayer, so that we can sanctify our lives, so that we can be effective in making Christ known.

Robert Gay OP


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