What then is to be a prophet nowadays? Today, it seems that prophecy is not anymore appealing to the people of this new generation. To dream to become a prophet is not anymore a dream but a burdensome. What led this disheartening reality occurred? Seeing and abiding in the reality of the world today, it is undeniable that the influx of change brought a massive effect into the mentality and lifestyle of the people today. The rapid advancement of science and technology has propelled new findings, new innovations and new explorations in person’s search for meaning. Entrepreneurship, the multinationals, corporations, stock market and business ruled the competency of the world’s economy and the unfolding of events in the world’s settings. Social media dominated the balancing and the fearless dissemination of information and entertainment. Facebook, Tweeter, Youtube, Google, Ebay and Yahoo rendered new culture and new mentality for us today called “What you see is what you get”. Iphones, Ipad, Smartphones, Tablet PCs and Android phones are now the patrons of telecommunications. Citing these examples of the new set of trends that are now continually unfolding, enticing and caressing our desires and cravings at present times, it seems that it is easy for us today to say; “Thanks for this new trend! Now, life becomes easy and it made the present world a better place to live in”. Yet, given already the possibilities for us to flourish and to live a better life due to those influxes of changes and rapid advancements, something is still lacking. It is also undeniable to say that technological advancement that we are now experiencing, unpleasant consequences occurred. Values are now being challenged. Egotism is now a lifestyle. The gap between the rich and the poor is now getting crucial. Corruption becomes a practice. Injustices are rampant, left and right. Respect for the human life and for the human dignity is becomes an option. Opportunities are becoming a privilege for the few. Distorted ideologies deformed the dignity and the mentality of the people. Individualism governed and austered relationship. And, person’s search for God is now a fad. Mentioning these examples of unpleasant realities that are indeed happening in the world today, it seems that these could be the avenue for prophesying or for boosting those who has a flaming desire for prophecy. Yet, it seems that prophecy is not so much appealing for the people of this new generation. What led prophesying not so appealing and burdensome? What, then is to be a prophet nowadays.
Few people dare to prophesy things that are unpleasant in the today’s world. Why? It is because, it’s risky and it’s a matter of life and death situation. Reading and reflecting Bruce Yocum’s book Prophecy, I found out that people nowadays understand prophecy as a forecasting or predicting future events. Yocum’s assertion on prophecy does not tell about these thought, but the real meaning and understanding of what a true prophecy is all about. To become a prophet means to be consumed by God’s Word and to become an interpreter and proclaimer of God’s Word even in the midst of risks. Prophecy means making the Word of God still relevant and valid in this postmodern world and criticizing the emerging unpleasant realities in the world today that consumes good values and pleasant things in life. As I am trying my best to reflect on these realities, it is indeed challenging, yet I must be convinced that every one of us has received this calling through our baptism. By the virtue of our baptism, we are called not only to share in the priesthood of Christ, but to commit ourselves as prophets as well by means of proclaiming God’s Word to all the nations.
Prophecy is wonderful yet challenging. Considering that I dedicate my whole life to the Lord as a religious, Yocum’s book becomes an eye-opener for me to consider my religious life as a form of prophecy. Though my life as a religious seems to be foolishness in the logic of the world, in the logic of faith, it is a message for the world that my religious life corresponds to the profound sentiments of the human heart which the things of this world cannot satisfy. The vows of Poverty, Chastity, Obedience and Rogate, though in the perspective of the world seems to be a contradiction, it is an opposition to what the world’s suffering as she continuously being “prostituted” by materialism and social injustices, egoism and hedonism, and ambition and thirst for power. To aspire for prophecy in this contemporary world is really a difficult aspiration to achieve. But, I still believe that every difficulty is an opportunity for a great and valiant mission. Maybe, I have a vocation to be prophetic but it might not be as well. And yet, considering my religious life, prophecy is a responsibility. I am called to proclaim that the presence of God is still valid today and always, and to be a good example of His love and compassion. This is what I must never forget as I am journeying in this contemporary world and in the midst of contradictions as a religious.