Friday, March 11, 2011

Three Roles of a Man: Prophet

Men are called by their nature to be the ones to sow the seeds of faith, within their families and society in general. The word prophet these days unfortunately does not hit that place in the heart of men that it used to. The word warrior makes the hair on a man’s neck stand up but there are unexpected similarities between a prophet and a warrior. A prophet is someone who brings the good news of the Gospels to all in order that they might have freedom from sin. A warrior fights for a cause, freedom for instance. A prophet is somewhat of a tool for the use of God, a warrior is a tool for the greater cause. A prophet tells the truth no matter what the end may be; a warrior fights for truth no matter what the end might be. A prophet fights with his words; a warrior fights with every talent he has. A prophet gives until his last breath, a warrior fights until his last breath. A prophet is a warrior and a warrior is a prophet. As Christian Catholic men we are summoned to both. So how can we be both warrior and prophet fighting in a non-physical battle? I think Ephesians 6:10-17 said it best, “Draw your strength from the Lord and from His mighty power. Put on the armor of God so that you may be able to stand firm against the tactics of the devil. For our struggle is not with flesh and blood but with the principalities, with the powers, with the evil spirits in the heavens. Therefore, put on the armor of God, that you may be able to resist on the evil day and, having done everything, to hold your ground. So stand fast with you loins girded in truth, clothed with righteousness as a breastplate, and your feet shod in readiness for the gospel of peace. In all circumstances, hold faith as a shield, to quench all flaming arrows of the evil one. And take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” St. Paul was calling the men to battle in this passage. God has already given us the ability and the means to fight. Let us not forget that God is a warrior at heart as well. All throughout the entire Old Testament it is one battle after another, God even tells generals what to do in order to win fights. All we have to do is have absolute faith in Him and then learn how to fight. St. Peter, our first Holy Father, was one of the best examples of a warrior prophet. He was not a perfect man; he sinned just like all the rest of us. In fact, he denied Our Lord at the most critical time of His life. He was a humble fisherman, not one of the most learned men at the time, but he had a passion deep down inside of him that Jesus recognized. Our Lord does not want men who are passionless and timid. He wants a humble man but a wild one as well. St. Peter was that man. He had his weaknesses, he had to pull his foot out of his mouth a few times, usually because he was so passionate about what was going on that he didn’t think before he talked, something all men can relate to, but the vigor that was contained in his heart of gold was what Jesus was after. St. Peter was willing to fight and die for his Lord. In the garden of Gethsemane, who was it that pulled out the sword and struck a man’s ear off? Although Jesus warned Peter that “Whoever lives by the sword, will die by the sword” this was the vigor that Jesus loved inside of Peter. St. Peter was looking for a physical war to fight, but then when Jesus aimed all of Peter’s energies in the right direction, that fire deep inside of Peter came out and he was ready to go to war, spiritual warfare, for Our Lord. St. Peter gave up what was comfortable in his life because he saw something in Jesus that made him want to fight and be a real man. A man like St. Peter would not have given his life to something that was not worthy of manhood, this man was a fighter. So, with the fire and vigor of St. Peter we are called to do whatever it takes to protect Holy Mother Church, the good name of Jesus, and our families. Whether it is a physical battle or a spiritual one, if we don’t fight who will? In the book of Genesis before the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah Abraham asked our Lord if he could find 10 righteous men would Sodom and Gomorrah be spared? And our Lord said yes. The ability of other people’s sanctified lives to save the lives of sinners is beyond doubt portrayed in this passage. God was willing to save, roughly 300,000 people, historians say there was around this number of people in the cities, for the sake of 10 good men. So, when we pray, study, and work out our salvation with ‘fear and trembling’ then we are not only saving our own souls but the souls of who knows how many people. This is indeed a warrior mentality. When we bring others to the love of Jesus Christ and His church we are not only a prophet for the Lord but a warrior as well. A prophet is a warrior and a warrior is a prophet.

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