"If a prophet presumes to speak in My name an oracle that I have not commanded him to speak, or speaks in the name of other gods, he shall die." —Deuteronomy 18:20
If prophets prophesy something God did not tell them to say, they shall die. This makes prophets feel like being quiet. However, if prophets "do not speak out to dissuade the wicked man from his way, he [the wicked man] shall die for his guilt, but [God] will hold [them] responsible for his death" (Ez 33:8). If we are silent in the face of evil, we are held responsible for the deaths of sinners. We must be careful when we prophesy, but we shouldn't be silent. This dilemma makes us feel like not being prophets. However, the Lord commands us to seek above all the gift of prophecy (1 Cor 14:1).
Even if we don't have the gift of prophecy, we must obey the prophets' messages, for without prophecy we perish (Prv 29:18). If we don't listen to Jesus and His prophets, we "shall be ruthlessly cut off from the people" (Acts 3:23).
In summary, we must not despise prophecies (1 Thes 5:20), but be open to them. We should be open to being prophets ourselves. We must neither be silent nor careless in prophesying. As best as we can discern, we must say what the Lord tells us to say when He wants us to say it. Prophesy obediently, courageously, boldly, and carefully.
Prayer: Father, may I be enlightened, encouraged, and built up by the prophetic messages of the pope.
Promise: "He is our God, and we are the people He shepherds, the flock He guides." —Ps 95:7
Praise: Praise Jesus, Who is the Word Made Flesh and dwells among us. Alleluia, Lord Jesus!
Reference: (For a related teaching, order our tape Prophecy on audio AV 14A-1, AV 14A-3, AV 14B-1 or video V-14A, V-14B.)
Rescript: †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, July 27, 2011
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