Why We are Prophets – Even Accidental Ones

Through Baptism we are called to participate in Christ’s three-fold ministry of Priest, Prophet and King. So we are prophets by Baptism but this doesn’t mean we are like the prophets we read of in the Old Testament. We are not like Isaiah, Jeremiah or Amos. We are not even like Jonah who tried to run away when God called him because he didn’t want to preach repentence to the people of Nineveh. We are called by Baptism to witness to Jesus Christ in a world badly in need of knowing Him and the values He teaches in the Gospels.

There is definitely a difference between the Old Testament prophets and us, who for lack of a better term we might call “Baptismal Prophets” or the term I like better, “Accidental Prophets.” Those of us who are prophets by virtue of our Baptism are Accidental Prophets not because we exercise the calling by mistake, we are not prophets accidentally, but we are Accidental Prophets because we start out to do one thing and end up doing something else. And that something else that we do is proclaim the Good News. Just as we are called to evangelize by the example of our lives, so too we exercise our prophetic ministry by how we live our daily lives. We don’t start out on any given day to say anything or do anything particularly prophetic but, if we are doing it right, we end up proclaiming the kingdom of God by what we say to the people we encounter each day, by how we treat those people we come into contact with.

So we live out our baptismal calling not by doing “Holy” deeds or by saying “Holy” words. We live out our call to be part of Christ’s prophetic mission by what we say and do at work, at the grocery store, when we interact with neighbors. When we intend to just do ordinary stuff and still proclaim Jesus Christ to the world we are being Accidental Prophets.

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