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Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Strengthened by God's Presence

It's a tough job to be a prophet. It was never easy. Those chosen for this mission often realize it only later in their life. Sometimes God seems to leave the prophet on his own, right when the danger is greater. That's the moment when the faithfulness of the prophet is tested. Moses experienced those difficult moments. So did Jeremiah and the author of Psalm 22 - the psalm Jesus chose to recite during his agony on the cross. This shows that Jesus also experienced the "absence" of God during the critical moments of his earhtly life. But every real prophet, deep in his heart, knows that god is not absent. He does not abandon those He has chosen and sent, provided they put all their trust in Him. In His own time and in ways that He alone knows, God does reveal His reassuring, consoling, strengthening and saving presence. And through His unfailing grace He brings victory both over the external enemies and internal weakness of the persecuted prophet. All Christians are called to share in the prophetic role of Christ. They are called to be "prophets of God" in their own time and society. This may occasionally entail sharing in Jesus' suffering and persucution for the sake of the Kingdom, for no disciple is greater than the Master", as himself said. "Be not afraid," Jesus said to his disciples in today's passage and on several other occassions. (See Lk 5:10 and Mk 4:40)"Be not afraid" says the refrain of the popular song with the same tittle."Be not afraid!" is also the message the late Pope John Paul II kept repeating to all men of goodwill. Indeed, we should not be afraid, but instead take courage and be full of confidence, for "God is watching" over us. We are under His powerful and paternal protection. No one should be frightened by sad prospects and threats, as if we were left to ourselves. God our Father will never abandon His chosen ones in the power of theirenemies. And even when He allows their bodies to be destroyed , He still has the whole eternity to reward His prophets for their faithfulness unto death.