Prophetic role of the Church.
The Church walks with people upon their journey, within this “walking with” it has a role as a tolerant and firm teacher. The teaching is presented and people have a free choice to make. The choice is to continue with Christ upon that journey through life; safe in the secure foundation of the Church founded upon Christ and safeguarded by the apostles, a tradition lived and prayed for centuries. Or to walk away, and find another path for the journey. Baptism is the entry into this journey, this walking with the Church, this journey with Christ. As life’s journey continues we can walk close to Christ, or keep him at a distance.
The Church has a prophetic role to play in the life of its people. This role is about witness and conversion, it is about social justice, and a care and concern for the weakest and most vulnerable in society. Here, the Church offers a clear vision for life, where love is the champion over hatred or evil.
Sometimes there is a conflict between the prophetic role of the Church, and lifestyles, ideologies, or the perception and purpose of life. In those moments people are to choose. Sometimes that choice involves a suppression of the voice that the Church speaks.
Who died and made you God? Is a phrase used about the teaching of the Church. Well Jesus did, he died and entrusted his Church to Peter and the subsequent generations. The Church is called to be a prophetic voice for the world. Now a prophetic voice is not often popular! The first reading sees God telling the prophet to deliver a very difficult message to the people because of their unfaithfulness the temple would be destroyed. It was not well received! It did not end well for Ezekiel but the truth of God was important to him and in love he spoke the message. Jesus was not accepted by his own in the gospel today.
Our choices are before us each day; we take up the cross and endeavour to live each day as a member of the Catholic Church. Our being a member of the Church might bring us scorn, ridicule, hatred or persecution. It might be easier to walk away and travel an easier route in life. The choice is ours.
When we seek to learn what the Church teaches and why it teaches it, the choice becomes more informed. Being a member of the Church impels us to learn about Christ, to be active in our membership, to seek to take part, to get involved. Being a member of the Church calls us to be prophets, filled with God’s word and a resolve to share that word with others.