IN OUR history of salvation, we learn that God sent prophets to choose leaders for the kingdoms and communities, to warn people of the anger of God, to announce “glad tidings from God,” and anoint kings. The list of the functions of the prophets of the old goes on. These prophets do the will of God and serve the people without compensation for they believe that God will be the one to compensate them. God did what he promised to these prophets. The Old Testament prophets were advisers and consultants of leaders.

In the time of Jesus, St. John the Baptist was the prophet to prepare the road of Jesus. He warned everyone of the coming of the Saviour. He also spoke against the “sins” and signs of the times. St. John was seen as someone who was not afraid of anybody. This is a characteristic of all the prophets that were chosen by God throughout history. St. John did his purpose and spoke only of nothing but the truth. He was beheaded for he spoke the language of God.

Many followers of Christ became prophets of their times. They preached, which means they practice what they teach. Many of them end up as martyrs for sticking to the truth or by going against the tide of untruthfulness and fake realities. Some were vocal while others were preaching through actions. These are the prophets who lived the word of God. They are living testimonies of the message of God to all of us.

Now, we ask, does God still send prophets today? The answer is a big YES. We have prophets in our midst. But it becomes very difficult to find a true prophet. What we see today are the many “false prophets” around us. These people give false prophecies. They promise us jobs, housing, change, transformation, equality, and even longer life. These are the prophets who work for their profits. We have to be very careful of these people nowadays. They are found everywhere, even at our doorstep. They speak in eloquent tongues and sometimes even use the word of God, but what do they want?

The true prophets of today are those who do not need to get profit from the ordinary things that they do. They perform the duties and obligations of the real prophet. He does not need any bodyguards or tall walls for he lives amid truth and nothing more. He lives in the phenomenon of the day and not on empty promises. He does not look for people but people seek him not because of material things but because they want to listen to the message through him.

Prophets and profits never go together. There is a passage that reminds us that we can never worship God and money together. If we live in the word of God shared to us by the present-day true prophets, then we live a life of liberation and a life of joy but if we live in the words of the false prophets, then we will not live a life of contentment but we shall always look for fillings amid our emptiness.

Today, let us listen to the real prophets in our midst. We need to open our ears and hearts to hear the voice of God in the words of his prophets. It is the prophets who can bring us healing and contentment. Let us listen to prophets who speak the word of God and not those who speak the word of profit.

So, shall there be prophets or profits?