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We belong to God and one another

It is good to be loved, to be chosen by God. But it is necessary to respond to that love so that we can stay open to the blessings of God through prayer, true worship and service of others; otherwise we close ourselves off to God’s salvation. This is the general theme pro-claimed lovingly and zealously by the prophets of the one true God.

A prophet teaches God’s people how to correctly worship God and live virtuously so that every human being has an opportunity to be saved. God sent the prophet Ezekiel to help prepare the people of Israel for the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem because of their lack of correct worship and subsequent corruption. Many Israelite people disbelieved Ezekiel’s prophesy, until the Temple was destroyed by foreigners in 587 B.C.

Only then did some Israelites believe that Ezekiel was a prophet sent by God. Thus, Jesus tells us in the Gospel that prophets are honored, except among some of their own household.

The prophets were sent by God to preach the truth of the importance of true worship, which leads to right living. When we give ourselves through worship to God’s plan of life, love and freedom, in the manner he chooses, this will lead us to loving God above all things, so that we can truly love others and help them to follow God, the source of life and salvation.

True worship of God reminds us that we belong to God and one another, and it inspires us to live virtuous lives. Thus, to grow in the true worship of God is worth the sacrifice so that we can know God’s freeing love now, and perfectly so in heaven.

Though the Temple was destroyed in 587 B.C., God then gave the prophet Ezekiel a vision of hope: someday the Lord himself would reestablish his people. They would repent of their sins and begin to rebuild their lives according to God’s ways and his plan of true worship. This was fulfilled in Jesus Christ and his Catholic Church.

We might think that God’s prophets have it easy. However, in today’s second reading we hear of Saint Paul being a New Testament prophet who received many revelations from God, but often suffered greatly.

Saint Paul proclaimed the full Gospel to the New Israel, the newly baptized Christians, but many turned away from him. As well, he writes that God sent him a thorn in the flesh, an attack from Satan that kept him humble.

He asked the Lord to take away this thorn in the flesh three time, but God said to him, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness.” Thus, St. Paul wrote, “I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships…for the sake of Christ; for when I am weak, then I am strong.”

Sometimes we feel weak in the face of strong temp-tations and confusion in the world today. Yet, it is then that we must turn to God and rely on his strength and grace to speak the truth and follow God’s plan of true

life, love and freedom.

I remember reading many years ago about a young girl who became a prophetess to some degree. She was about 10 years of age when shopping for new clothes with her mother but was disappointed with the immodest styles of clothing in her favorite store. With the help of her mother, she wrote to the president of the store about the importance of having modest clothing for herself and other Christian girls. The president of the company investigated the matter and wrote back saying that she was correct, and a new line of modest clothing was introduced.

Another example of men and women being prophetic is when they stood up and spoke out against the error of Critical Race Theory. Many of these prophets were minorities who believe that the Critical Race Theory is causing racism in the places where it is being taught.

Racism is a terrible sin and stain on our country’s history, and wherever it truly exists it needs to be rooted out. Racism is the belief that if you are of a certain race, you will automatically be considered inferior and be op-pressed. Of course, racism is wrong and contrary to God’s call that everyone should be free to follow God’s plan of a virtuous life, modeled perfectly by Jesus and Mary.

Critical Race Theory – according to the minority par-ents and other parents who are opposing it – teaches that you will automatically be an oppressor if you are of the white race, and you will automatically be a victim if you are of a different race.

Thus, Critical Race Theory is itself racist. It does not consider the God given ability for any person to live justly, no matter their color of skin, background or nationality, but automatically categorizes each person. Taken to its logical conclusion, this errant theory gives people excuses for their bad behavior.

As Christians, we believe that each baptized person is called to be a prophet to some degree. Each of us is called to worship and love God correctly above all things, so that we can grow to love God appropriately within all things, especially other people.

It is only with humility that we can receive the saving truth and divine love of Jesus Christ – the perfect prophet who poured out his precious blood on the cross to take away our sins through forgiveness – in order to serve and worship God correctly. By following Christ within his Catholic Church, we can grow in holiness and can lead others to Jesus Christ so that all can belong completely to God and one another in the New Temple, the indestructible Mystical Body of Jesus Christ.

Peace through the Blood of Jesus Christ,

Fr. Thomas McCabe


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