MANILA, July 6, 2015—Would you like to be a prophet? By all means, keep quiet and stay humble, says Manila Archbishop Luís Antonio Cardinal Tagle.
In a homily he gave on Sunday, July 5, at the Minor Basilica of San Sebastián in Quiapo, he reminded those who want to speak for God to first learn to forget about themselves, noting that a true prophet has nothing to boast of since everything he says and does must always only be in keeping with God’s word.
“The prophet does not have his own word … The prophet does not have his own journey … The prophet is sent … and he is sent to bring God’s word. God is Word,” Tagle explained.
“Through Him, a prophet is a ‘Person of God” in sending, in descending to a mission and by what he [or she] bears,” he added.
The prelate went on to stress a prophet is indifferent to worldly success, given that he is never after pleasing people.
“A prophet does not look for success. The prophet is faithful to the will of God no matter what the result. It is his indifference that makes him a prophet,” he said.
Tagle stated further that a prophet is not measured by the adulation he receives, nor is confirmed or verified when he receives trophies, plaques of appreciation, and even monuments.
“No, God is not interested in that,” he exclaimed.
Expounding on a verse from the Book of Ezekiel, Tagle told the faithful that a prophet—supposedly every baptized person called to share in Christ’s prophetic role—must be prepared to encounter violent opposition, even rebellion, on account of the truth he proclaims.
“No wonder, few want to be prophets,” he quipped.
Tagle pointed out the role of prophets is to assert the truth—God’s truth—no matter what, even though nobody seems willing to accept it.
“Just say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord God.’ And whether they hear or resist—they are a rebellious house—they shall know that a prophet has been among them,” he said, quoting Ezekiel.
That said, Tagle, moreover, warned his flock against those who claim to speak the Good News, but whose ways are hardly consistent with the message they bear.
“Beware, for not everyone who talks a lot can be considered a prophet. You have to discern carefully whether his message really comes from God. If not, he just talks nonsense,” he said.
“Do not be deceived. Not everyone who speaks convincingly and with a loud voice is a prophet,” he added. (Raymond A. Sebastián/CBCP News)