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Saturday, 31 October 2015 03:26

Whose Prophet Am I? 

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John Moritz – Southeast Regional Coordinator, Northeast Florida Chapter

In this series of articles on Formation, we are intentionally not looking at the five themes in the order listed in the website: Affiliate Identity, Mission, Spirituality of Mission, Community, and Prophetic Witness. These themes are not linear or sequential; they are all relational with the other themes and build on each other. In upcoming articles, we will look at how the themes of Community and Mission contribute to our identity as Maryknoll Affiliates. Today, we look at the Formation theme of Prophetic Witness

We are all prophets, every day. By where we live, what kind of car we drive, everything we do, we proclaim what we hold dear to us. As with all five Formation themes, Prophetic Witness is not so much about knowing things but is a process of discernment.We all make choices about how we live, and that speaks volumes about who we are. Both individually and communally, what we announce and denounce in word and action is what identifies us to the world around us.

 

We witness to the Maryknoll charism by living the Affiliates’ Four Pillars. Previously, we saw our witness of Spirituality in the Three A’s of Maryknoll Spirituality. The decision to be affable, available, and adaptable identifies us to those around us. 

As St. Francis is credited with saying, “Preach the gospel, and, if necessary, use words.” Sometimes it is necessary and appropriate to use words. Our proclamation of good news is words of love and compassion. As Papa Francisco said it, “If you can’t do that, go get a desk job!” Period. That is not a putdown of anyone with a desk job. Rather, it is a colloquial way of saying: When you interact with people, be loving!

In the olden days, Jesuit teachers of logic used to say that if A is not B, then, by definition, choosing A is not choosing B. So our life choices include what we do not choose. Our life choices witness an alternative to the lifestyle choices of an egocentric, consumer-centered, elitist society.

Speaking truth to power

is the witness of the prophet.

When we say no to that which contradicts the Gospel, when we denounce the things that separate and alienate people, we witness to the Light. Speaking truth to power is the witness of the prophet. The challenge to me is to be sure that speaking truth to power does not exclude what was previously said about speaking with love and compassion. Can I be compassionate toward those who are abusers of others?

So, the theme of Prophetic Witness provides the opportunity to reflect on my life choices and the ways in which I, and my community, speak to those around us. Is what I say by my life consistent with what I say I believe? 

Reflection Questions. These can be used for individual reflection or group discussion.

  • What is one way that I have chosen to witness to the Gospel in my lifestyle?
  • When am I willing to speak—to proclaim what I believe?
  • Where can I be an “alternative” to an existing injustice in my community?
  • Who “speaks truth to power” in my life?

 

 


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