The Lord Jesus Himself calls John the Baptizer the greatest of all prophets. He says there is no one greater than John the Baptizer who is venerated in the Church as a prophet, a forerunner of Jesus Christ.

When we say prophet, we do not refer to fortune tellers, or to those who try to predict the future. A prophet is, technically, a spokesman of God. Thus somebody who speaks in behalf of God is always a prophet; somebody who speaks to another on behalf of God acts as a prophet. John the Baptist was, indeed, a prophet because from his mouth God’s word reached his people. In the book of the prophet Jeremiah, we get an insight into the kind of life that prophets live. What does the prophet Jeremiah have to say of the work of the prophets? The Lord tells the prophet: “You will be alone but I am always with you.” That is the role of the prophet: To be alone but to always have the Lord with him.

John the Baptist must have felt this. Elijah and Isaiah, too. They were alone, they were persecuted for speaking the word of God, but, they knew that they were not alone and they cannot be alone because Yahweh is always with them. From the Book of Jeremiah we find the consolation of the prophet: “I will make you like a fortified city that no army can attack you. I will make you like an iron pillar that no one will ever crush you. And I will make you like a wall of brass. The walls of stone may be crushed, but the wall of brass can only be crushed by fire.” This shows the strength of the prophet who relies only on the grace of God.

In a very real sense we are all called to be prophets; we are called to speak the truth. We are bound, we are entrusted with the mission of correcting each other, of preventing each other from committing sin. The task of a prophet can be painful, ridiculous, even. We may feel alone, and tired. When this time comes, remember the role of the prophet, you will be alone, but you are not alone. God is with you.

Lk. 7:28
Only Jesus, Always Jesus

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