Sunday, July 08, 2012

God's Prophet today (Sunday homily)

As you may have guessed, I’m the new priest assigned here, part time.

My name is Father Martin Fox.

And I want to say, it was nice of Father Windholtz to put a statue
of my patron, St. Martin, right there!

I’ll be greeting everyone after Mass so I hope to meet you then.

The first reading is from the prophet Ezekiel.
The role of a prophet was to be God’s Ambassador.
And while sometimes he’d bring good news,
a lot of the time he was bringing tough words.
As God told Ezekiel: my people are rebellious—
you’ve got a hard assignment.

Don’t worry: the Archbishop didn’t say anything like that about Saint Rose!
But he told me I was supposed to be quick…

Now, have you ever wondered why
we don’t have any Isaiahs or Jeremiahs around today?

Why doesn’t God send us prophets? Actually he does.
But the spirit of prophecy—since the coming of Christ—
has passed into the Church.
Remember what he said: “As the Father sent me, so I send you”;
and, “Whoever hears you, hears me.”

So the Church is his Prophet in the world today.

OK, what does that mean?

Well, first, the Church doesn’t need to wait for an inspiration.
God has already told us his whole Word in Jesus Christ.
That’s what we call the “Deposit of Faith.”
So when folks want the Church to change her teaching,
they don’t realize it’s not ours to change. It is Christ’s teaching.

Applying and interpreting this is the task of the pope and the bishops.
 Sometimes, to settle controversy, they define a teaching in a formal way.
That’s what Pope Pius XII did with the Assumption of Mary in 1950,
and what Pope John Paul II did on the question of who can be ordained in 1994—
as well as what many councils through the centuries did.

We aren’t all bishops, but our membership in Christ gives us all a role.

Just as this parish makes the universal Church present in this neighborhood,
 so you are God’s messenger to your family, your work, your school.
In another passage, God was tough on Ezekiel: if you don’t warn people,
and they lose their souls, that falls on you.

Is it hard? Look at the reception the Lord received!
And yet, the seed of the Gospel, cast on so much stony ground,
has sprouted into billions of souls worldwide.
As Saint Paul said, God’s grace makes it work—not us.

So if you’re looking around for God’s prophet, look in the mirror. It’s you!

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