Pope Francis and the need for Prophets

“A church without prophets falls into the trap of clericalism. These were the words of Pope Francis during his homily at Mass on Monday morning in the Vatican’s Casa Santa Marta.”

We read in Acts 21:9 “This man had four unmarried daughters, gifted with prophecy. During our few days stay, a prophet named Agabus arrived from Judea. He came up to us and taking Paul’s belt, tied his own hands and feet with it. Then he said, ‘Thus says the Holy Spirit: this is how the Jews in Jerusalem will bind the owner of this belt and hand him over to the gentiles.'”

Bruce Yocum in his book, ‘Prophecy exercising the prophetic gifts of the spirit in the church today’ writes, “the early Christians prophesied regularly when they met together (1 Cor 11:4-5 14:3); converts prophesied at the laying on of hand(Acts 19:6); prophecy is listed frequently as one of the gifts Christ bestows upon the church (Rom 12:6; Eph 4:11-12; 1 Cor 12:10,28,29); prophets are a part of the foundation of the church (Eph 2:20); it was to  the apostles and the prophets that  the revelation of the full plan of salvation was given (Eph 3:4-6); prophets are mentioned in connection with the ministry of Timothy (1 Tim 1:18, 4:14) Christians are encouraged to value prophecy (1 Thess 5:20) and to seek it more earnestly than the other gifts (1 Cor 14:1).”

In the book of Revelation John is told to eat the Scroll. John says, “it was sweet in the mouth but sour in the stomach.” The prophet is one who consumes God’s Word. When the prophet eats God’s word it will be sweet in the mouth but sour in the stomach. Cantalamessa says, “when the prophet speaks God’s Word will only be sweet for the listener if the word is first sour in the stomach of the prophet.” 

 

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