It's also a rich experience to connect with religious women from various communities here in St. Louis as we engage the challenges of living and sharing the Gospel in the 21st century.
Religious men and women are prophets.... In the church, the religious are called to be prophets in particular by demonstrating how Jesus lived on this earth, and to proclaim how the kingdom of God will be in its perfection.We prophecy, not by foretelling events in the misty reaches of the future, but by living the Gospel here and now. Francis named this as the essence of the life. Yes, the vows give it shape, but it is the prophetic mission that is at is core.
The prophetic function and the hierarchical structure do not coincide.He is not proposing an oppositional role, yet he acknowledges that religious and the hierarchy play different roles among the people of God. In the best of times, this allows us to walk together and work together for the common cause of the Gospel. However, it also means that there are times when it will be a challenge to strike this balance that allows both to remain faithful to their call.
Being prophets may sometimes imply making waves. I do not know how to put it.... Prophecy makes noise, uproar, some say ‘a mess.’Yes, then, so let's get out there and live the Gospel - and make a mess. I can definitely see that statement being lived out by Pope Francis. He is making noise, an uproar, a mess. Yet goodness and authenticity are a part of this mess.
Prophecy announces the spirit of the Gospel.The vocation to prophecy invites us to live the Gospel, announce the Gospel with our hands and with our hearts and with our lives.