First of all, please remember our annual Summerfest next weekend. All are invited to stop by, to make a donation of beverages, or to volunteer. I have been working with a dynamite organizing committee. Please show your support.
Prophets can be so annoying. I have come to understand prophets on two different levels: personal and social. Prophets speak the truth. Your personal prophet may be a friend, relative or even a stranger who challenges you to take another look at some aspect of life. Genuine prophets do not assume a position of superiority and dominance. Rather, they share their message out of concern. They may encourage you to see things differently. Perhaps your prophet is encouraging you to consider an alternative choice of behavior or way of life. They may be prophetic simply by choosing to seek goodness and compassion in their lives rather than settle for the discourse. I recognize the personal prophets in my life, and I am fortunate to have been blessed with their friendship. It is good to have prophets. Find a prophet and be inspired by their strength, courage and integrity.
The prophet Amos in today’s First Reading is far more than a personal prophet. As a prophet for ourvtimes, Amos was keenly aware of social injustice particularly in the disparity between the “haves” and the “have nots”. “But let justice roll down like waters and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.” These familiar words of the Prophet Amos have echoed throughout our land for centuries. This vision of the Prophet Amos provides hope and direction. This prophet is more relevant than we know in our sophisticated, post modern times.
I could not help but feel the presence of prophets when I saw children drawing with chalk on the Dan Ryan expressway last Saturday. These children joined the thousands who gathered to echo a national cry for help. People are literally dying every day as the bullets fly and senseless violence rips the fabric of our society. These days, this violence is literally with us from womb to tomb. The children are shaming the adult world into action. It is the children who are asking for common sense gun control. They are asking for a chance. Will it be like today’s First Reading where the prophet is dismissed? Is that really what we want? This rally and march focused on the violence and inequality that increasingly burdens those with less resources. Most of the discussions about the rally focused on whether or not the strategy was appropriate. I believe the far more important discussion should be about recognizing the issues that are destroying our children’s future and being willing to have a prophetic spirit.
Finally, I am looking for a volunteer who might be available to help with some computer technological and software issue for our Religious Education ministry. Please contact me if you are interested.
Fr. Mike Shanahan