Both readings for today's liturgy are messages to us in our times. Jesus is preaching as we would hope he would. He offers us a way to having a happy and peace-filled life. In the first reading there is for us yet another message that reminds us of God's care for his people centuries ago. In the days of the Old Testament histories, Yahweh gave to the people voices that were bringing to the people how God wanted them to find peace-filled days in their lives and in their governments. These voices were the prophets. They were speaking more than "take it or leave it" messages. Would I be wrong or out of place by stating that the prophets have little if any impact on the lives of most Catholics today? Do we look upon these voices simply as events that occurred well before our times?
The host of a TV political talk show commenting on the Academy Awards presentation last evening (which I did not watch -- electronic Monopoly with friends was much more entertaining) noted that the movies that were the most popular among the people are voices that speak to our times. The commentator did not call the movies prophets but he did express his feelings that these leading movies are commentaries about us today. So there are some people who do look around to find the voices that speak about us and our way of being, our needs, our wants, our joys, our sorrows. Strange that it takes movies to bring about the realization that we need to step out of ourselves to learn about ourselves.
Again, I go back to the prophets. These were voices that God sent to the world of their day to lead the people and the governments of the time to lives that would make for peace, for respect for one another and for the life that God made for us if we but listen and attempt to live it.
Speaking to his disciples, Jesus gave them the treasures of a lifetime: mercy, forgiving, caring. And who are the prophets in our time? Mother Theresa? John Paul II? Benedict XVI? Those unnamed men and women who strive to bring peace to the world? Do we take the time to find them? To listen to them? Search them out in the quiet corners of our world.