Forbes Magazine came up with an article of the most respected professions in the U.S.: No. 5, Engineer; No. 4, Military Officer; No. 3, Firefighter; No.2, Scientist; No.1, Doctor. While there are varied reasons why people would reflect a certain profession, the fact remains that priesthood is not in the top 5. It is not even in the top 10.
The Gospel often talks about Prophets and respect. Jesus was not respected simply because of the people’s lack of faith.
As Christians, we are all challenged to be the light of the world and salt of the earth. For this to become a reality, we have to speak up for what is right, good and true. We have to speak up with what is wrong, we have to speak up against the injustices, and we have to say the inconvenient truths. In other words, be a prophet. Hence, prophets should not be surprised if they are disrespected for three reasons:
- People do not want to be reminded of their sinful ways. Hence, when they are reminded of such, they become defensive. Most people know what is right and what is wrong. Since they still want to do what is wrong, they do not argue with the issue, they simply shoot the messenger.
- If people live in sin, they want everyone to live in sin as well. Hence, anyone who is not amongst them is branded as self-righteous and a killjoy, treated as an outcast and thus disrespected.
- People envy people who do things right. When one does things right, the person is at peace. There is this certain joy amidst all the trials in life. As Jesus promised, “Blessed are those who are persecuted for the sense of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”
In every Mass, three simple prayers to remember:
- For evil to prevail, all we need is for good people to keep quiet. For us to make this world a better place, we need to be prophets.
- Every August 4th is the Feast Day of St. John Marie Vianney, the patron saint of priests. Please pray for priests. Their numbers are going down, the ministry demand is getting bigger and in the spiritual warfare, they are the primary target of the devil. When a priest falls, many people get hurt.
- Pray. Prayers move mountains. If only we realize the spiritual graces obtained through prayer!