Why do we do that? Catholic Life Explained


Question: The Church teaches that, through our baptism, we are made priest, prophet, and king like Christ. What does it mean for us to be prophets in the world today?

Answer: We are indeed sharers in the threefold mission of Christ. We live our “kingship” when we serve others in justice, work for the common good in society, and overcome sin in our own lives. Our “priestly” mission is lived when we unite our lives to Christ’s sacrifice on the cross, offering them up as a gift of love. We are also called to be prophets. Our lives may not look like Isaiah and Jeremiah of old — and perhaps desert living and locust eating like St. John the Baptist might feel out of reach — but this doesn’t nullify our invitation and obligation.

As baptized Christians, we have accepted the Gospel in faith. We’re also called to proclaim the Gospel as well. This may mean by giving Christ-centered advice to another person or defending truth when it’s threatened. It also means living our faith in deeds.

St. John Paul II writes that we are “called to allow the newness and the power of the Gospel to shine out every day in [our] family and social life” (On the Lay Members of Christ’s Faithful, 14). A prophet points to a higher truth beyond himself or herself. We live prophetically when we treat others as Christ treated people and when we arrange our schedule to prioritize those to whom we have the greatest obligation, including our families, as well as the poor and vulnerable around us. We live prophetically when we think critically about the culture around us and we allow our faith to inform our public life.