We cannot be silent or inactive

This weekend we celebrate the birth of John the Baptist. John was a prophet, sent to proclaim God’s word to Israel, to remind them of their vocation as God’s People and to announce the coming of the Messiah.

Like John the Baptist and all the prophets who came before and after him, we too are called to a prophetic ministry in our time and place. The prophet’s role is to be a sign of God’s presence in our world and to be the voice for God speaking words of healing, peace, reconciliation and the call to conversion.

As we listen to the news, read the papers, watch the broadcasts, we begin to recognize that, as disciples of Jesus, called to a prophetic witness, we cannot be silent or inactive. We must begin to give voice to the need to end injustice, discrimination,racism, bigotry and all the other forms of hate that are so prevalent in our world today. As we watch reports about children (even nursing infants) being separated from their parents, can we, in good conscience, remain silent? We can easily calm our consciences by reminding ourselves that those unfortunate directives are being carried out in another country. But, do we take the time to question whether similar things are happening in our own nation? Do we speak out to our own government, asking that they use diplomatic means to give voice to the injustice being done? Do we challenge our own immigration laws and practices that are often unjust and inflict undue

When we hear of the killings of gay men, do we speak out against homophobia and hatred, or simply tell ourselves that “I wouldn’t do that” and “let the justice system handle those cases”? Do we take the time to deeply examine our own attitudes and actions and ask whether in some way we contribute to the ongoing discrimination against various groups of people in our society?

What about the incidents of racism involving police or security services? What about the poverty and homelessness that we see all around us? What about the continued trafficking in women and children. What about the child soldiers and those children forced to work long hours in factories so we can by obscenely inexpensive good?

There are so many ills in our world and our society. How are we called as individuals and as a parish community to be a prophetic voice today, calling for change and transformation in our world?

Where does transformation in our world start? In our own hearts and with a lot of prayer and openness to guidance by the Holy Spirit.

Richard Beaudette, OMI


Fr. Richard Beaudette is Pastor of St. Joseph’s Parish in Ottawa, Canada, and a member of the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate.

Richard Beaudette, OMI

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