Lectionary Reflection for February 1, 2009
- Deuteronomy 18:15-20
- 1 Corinthians 7:32-35
- Mark 1:21-28
Thoughts for your consideration:
This week God is asking us for our undivided attention.
God offers the post-exilic Jewish community an ongoing prophetic tradition. However he warns them that a prophet is not infallible. If the prophet is committed to God alone then his prophesies will be credible and true. Any prophet who is divided in his commitments will deliver false prophesies that will not come to pass.
The Prophet Micah sheds light on these false prophets “Thus says the Lord regarding the prophets who lead my people astray; who when their teeth have something to bite, announce peace, but when one fails to put something in their mouth, proclaim war against him. Therefore you shall have night, not vision, darkness, not divination.” – Micah 3: 5-6
Moses and Micah warn against prophets who are corrupted by riches. Paul is nervous that his early Christian community could be corrupted by their short sighted marital obligation. Jesus is outright angry at the evil influence that has corrupted a poor soul. In each case the ultimate spiritual and social purpose of humanity is being compromised by overpowering temptations.
While we may not have a prophetic industry in our modern society we do have organizations and think tanks that fulfill a similar function but with a more scientific approach. Some think tanks follow certain ideologies. Others monitor certain data or gauges. On the other hand many religious communities and organizations, including the Catholic Church, offer social analysis through theological reflections based on our spirituality.
In 2002 many Christian organizations advocated for greater diplomacy in foreign policies. They also advocated for better regulation of financial institutions because of the unsustainable nature of the global economy. As Christians we advocated for carbon regulations and renewable energy because our environment was becoming unsustainable. The Catholic Church prophetically spoke on all these issues. Yet think tanks that had other social priorities outweighed us. Today we live with the repercussion of short sighted policies that were developed for material or corrupt purposes versus a divine vision to promote the common good.
Now the economic, political and environmental system is being shaken to its core. Many of us seem to be willing to consider a more holistic vision for our common purpose. The Church and its religious communities continue to function as modern day prophets by advocating for policies based on Christian social principles. These promote the dignity of all humanity, address the common good, and engage in global solidarity and caring for God’s creation.
However this time we would like to ask you for your undivided attention.
Questions for Reflection in your Faith Sharing Group:
- Think about some of the think tanks or organizations that you pay attention to, what is the mission or ultimate value for that organization?
- Is that value consistent with your Christian faith and the social teachings of your church?
- Are you aware of Christian organizations that provide analysis on social issues?