Jesus’ aim was to open up the spirit of prophecy to everyone.… Then too we can all become courageous enough to speak out like prophets.
Prophecy comes to life as love. Jesus the prophet is love manifested. We also can be love manifested in the world.
—Barbara A. Holmes
The genius of Jesus is that he wastes no time on repressing or denying the shadow. In that, he is a classic prophet, one of those who does not merely expose the denied shadow of Israel, but instead attacks the real problem, which is the ego.
Jesus knew that he could not be a chaplain of the empire but was sent to be a prophet of God—one anointed by God and the people to do the work of love, justice, and liberation.
—Erica N. Williams
If we have the priest and the prophet, we have a system constantly refining itself and correcting itself from within.
Although Jesus himself may be perceived as heir to the legacy of Amos and Jeremiah, the Gospels present him as more than a prophet. He is, according to the Evangelists, the Son of God, who adds something new to the prophetic concern for justice.
Meditating on the Cross
Father Richard acknowledges that the prophetic path will almost always lead to our rejection—and for many prophets, even death. He invites us to meditate on the pain and the comfort of the cross:
CAC’s logo, an oval framing two intersecting arrows forming the cross of Christ, shows a collision of opposites. One arrow leads downward, preferring the truth of the humble. The other moves leftward against the grain. But all are wrapped safely inside a hidden harmony: one world, God’s cosmos, a benevolent universe. The Celtic cross also places the vertical and horizontal bars within a circle, embracing the suffering of Christ within our own human context and God’s eternal love.
Spend some time meditating on an image of the cross. Allow your body, mind, and heart to be completely present to the suffering of Christ. Welcome your own memories or sensations of pain, sorrow, grief. Hold them gently within the circle of God’s presence—God’s solidarity with human suffering. Then let go of this suffering, yours and Christ’s, and rest in faith that from every death comes new life, and in every wound there is the opportunity for healing and hope.
Richard Rohr, A Spring Within Us: A Book of Daily Meditations (Albuquerque, NM: CAC Publishing, 2016), 124.
Image credit: A path from one week to the next—Benjamin Yazza, Untitled 8, 13, and 7. Used with permission. Click here to enlarge image. Jesus used the mystery and variety of the natural world to teach us.