Christy Wilkens reflects on how to live out your baptismal anointing as a prophet this Lent.
That we are living in times of great darkness is a stark truth. Discord reigns, evil masquerades as amusement, and maybe your faith, like mine, grows weak in the knees from time to time.
Times of great darkness call not only for light, but for courage. God's will — His ultimate will of mercy and love and salvation for all people—is made manifest through the work of our own hands and the sound of our voices. Throughout history, He has called one unlikely prophet after another.
God speaks to the world through his Church, the Body of Christ, of which you and I and every baptized person are members. As St. Teresa of Avila reminds us, "Christ has no body now but yours." While her prayer speaks mostly about God needing your hands and your feet … your voice is needed too.
This Lent, I invite you to reflect on your baptismal anointing, the day you were called to share in Christ's attributes of priest, prophet, king. .. especially prophet.
Christ is moving in your life. His coming Passion and Resurrection will throw light into every dark corner, redeem every sin, and dry every tear.
Your end of the deal? He has entrusted you with the task of telling others.
Becoming the Prophet You Are Called To Be
Let me share a not-so-secret truth about me that is relevant to this discussion about unleashing your inner prophet: I am an introvert. An off-the-charts introvert. This is a deeply uncomfortable message for me to hear and accept, let alone to put into practice in my own life. I know, in my bones, how hard it is to live out the prophet’s call.
But I offer my feeble efforts. I wrote a book about God’s mercy to our family that I’m working hard to tell people about, even though talking to strangers is my number-one least favorite way of dying to myself. I reach out to remind suffering friends, with my words and my companionship, that all suffering is redeemed. I have challenging conversations across political and religious aisles, both to interrogate the places where I might be wrong but also to speak aloud the places Christ has revealed to be right, through His active work in my life.
What story is God asking you to offer to the world? What gift of testimony has He given you, for the building of the kingdom?
The Likely (and Unlikely) Prophets of History
St. John the Baptist was fearless, preaching from literal mountaintops, eschewing all comforts, speaking boldly and with great love even though it led directly to his martyrdom.
I’m no John the Baptist. I'm too timid, too self-conscious, too lazy.
Neither was Moses, who stuttered and tried to get God to pick someone else. Or Jonah, who literally ran in the other direction. (Oh, hey God! How about I go to the opposite of Nineveh instead?) Or even Paul, who experienced a life-altering, miraculous meeting with Christ himself … then disappeared for three years before he did anything about it! (Galatians 1:15-18)
The Blessed Mother, our model in faith, lived out God’s will perfectly. Just because we aren't Mary doesn't mean we shouldn't try to do that too. In fact, it means just the opposite. Her fiat, her yes to the angel Gabriel’s message, is not meant to discourage us, but to model a new way of living, in complete and utter abandon to God’s providence.
Follow the Call and Sing His Goodness
St. John the Baptist, and all God’s prophets, can be models for us today, too, both in their supernatural graces and in their foibles. The modern world is a desert of faith. It needs voices, even our imperfect ones, crying out to prepare the Lord’s way.
You don’t need a platform or a public speaking engagement. You need a story of God’s love and mercy and at least one person to tell it to.
We need not do it perfectly to do it at all. God will bless and multiply our efforts to give the world knowledge of salvation. Sing His goodness into a world that sorely needs it.
Copyright 2021 Christy Wilkens
Image: Canva Pro
About the Author
Christy Wilkens, wife and mother of six, is an armchair philosopher who lives in Austin, TX. She writes at FaithfulNotSuccessful.com about disability, faith, doubt, suffering, community, and good reads. Her first book, Awakening at Lourdes: How an Unanswered Prayer Healed Our Family and Restored Our Faith, a memoir about a pilgrimage with her husband and son, will be released by Ave Maria Press in 2021.