“go away, get back to the land of Judah, we want no more prophesying in Bethel [in Ampleforth] this is the royal sanctuary, the national temple.” ..prophets, then & now, are troublesome people.. wasps.. one is often tempted to reject them.. to tell them to shut up, be it with a polished Ampleforth accent or a blunt Yorkshire accent.. shut up.. but they will not be intimidated..
..the coming of a prophet is always a grace.. ;Lord have mercy ..speaking/witnessing to the faithfulness & love of God.. ;Christ have mercy ..my prophet for my people.. ;Lord have mercy May Almighty God have mercy on us, forgive us our sins & bring us to everlasting life. Amen.
..in every temple you would find a group of Job’s comforters.. the gloom & doom merchants who, if you said with a smile behind your face mask, & with a chirpy voice, “good morning” they would respond cautiously “there’s rain due by lunchtime”.. you would also find the visionaries, who have privileged insights into the wonderful size & shape of Catholicism after covid..& then there is Amos.. he used to have a job he loved, tending sheep, swaledales & herdwicks, & he was a forester, growing sycamore trees.. he was well qualified & satisfied with his wages.. “the Lord took me from herding the flock & said “go prophesy to my people Israel”.. “why did you become a monk?” my young retreatants asked me this last week, & they want truth not candyfloss ”I didn’t want to become a monk..” Amos was taken by God, lifted away from his flock & trees, to speak out about God.. a prophet speaks about God “not with extrinsic proofs, but with an inner & immediate feeling.” He cannot prevent himself from being a prophet.. nothing & no one can deflect him from his mission & God’s purpose. “It is impossible for us not to speak about what we have seen & heard “ [Acts 4;19&20] “go prophesy to my people” those he has commissioned Amos to reprove, he still & will always call “my people”.. like young Willie & his sheepdog Shep that had eaten a sheep, both were called down into farmyard to face wrath of his father.. “for a dog that would kill a sheep would die himself” ..& as they approached father, Willie takes up story.. a child prophet.. “it was as if I had never seen him before, never looked at him in his entirety. My feet carried me on to where he stood, immortal you would say in the door..& he put his right hand on the back of my head, pulled me to him so that my cheek rested against the buckle of his belt..& he raised his own face to the brightening sky & praised someone, in a crushed voice, God maybe, for my safety, & stroked my hair..& the dog’s crime was never spoken of, but that he lived till he died. I would call that the mercy of fathers, when the love that lies in them deeply like the glittering face of well, is betrayed by an emergency, & the child sees at last that he is loved, loved & needed, & not to be lived without, & greatly.” Young Willie, a young prophet, speaking about his own father personifying God the Father, the lad “speaking not with extrinsic proofs, but with an inner & immediate feeling.”.. “he chose us, chose us in Christ, to be holy & spotless, & to live through love in his presence, determing that we should become his adopted sons & daughters for his own kind purposes” you, each one of you, chosen in Christ, adopted for his own kind purposes, to speak about God.. no longer Job’s comforters or visionaries of a cotton wool resurgent Church post covid, now real living discipleship.. up to now Jesus had done the acting & teaching.. now he sends out the twelve to get cracking.. no longer spectators nor witnesses but now to be practitioners, telling curing & empowering.. in fertile homes & importantly in hostile homes, to meet every person where they are, relationally spiritually emotionally with their God & their Church.. appealing not to a persuasive doctrine which seeks to control or impose, but an appeal to the free commitment of faith, an invitation to come home, into this working farmyard of a parish, with the smell activity & warmth of a lifetime..”& the child” the child of God” sees feels at last that he/she is loved, loved & needed, & not to be lived without, & greatly”.. leave you with a passage from a French Cistercian periodical.. Cistercians are reformed Benedictines who listened to prophecy then responded.. “your call has thrust them on the ways & byways; bearers of your word, without any other support than your love, they speak your joy to those who receive them. Marvels of your grace! Messengers of the Good News, they announce peace to the ends of the world. The forgiveness they proclaim on earth, God accomplishes in heaven. Happy the people who welcome your emissaries, happy the people whose God you are.” “..the coming of a prophet is always a grace.. one is often tempted to reject them, to tell them to shut up.. but they will not be intimidated..” [15th Sun Yr B ; Mk 6;7-13]