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Doctrines & Morals

We are prophets by the virtue of our baptism

Ezk. 2:2-5, 2 Cor. 12:7-10, Mk 6:1-6. On this Fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time Year B, the Church challenges us not to be afraid to carry out our prophetic ministries despite the odds against us. This was the case with Ezekiel as recorded in today's first reading. The authority of the prophet stems from his being sent by God. The ordeals of the prophet have their root in the fact that the voice of God speaks a different language from the worldly voices and makes a different demand. To some, in their sincere search for God, this voice is very much welcomed. To others who are “in revolt against God” it is an unwanted reminder of the true path that leads to the satisfaction of our innermost heart desires. The various challenges that the prophet must face could be located within this dilemma between the one voice of God represented by the prophet and the countless number of worldly voices speaking differently.

We see the various manifestations of these challenges in the readings. Firstly, we saw how the obstinacy of the people constitutes a great challenge to the prophet, making them resistant to the word of life. We see in today's second reading how the heavy weight of human weakness, in the life and mission of Paul, could be a very discouraging force before the ideal where the prophet proclaims and before the goal he seeks. Due to this, some have abandoned their mission and followed other paths. Thirdly is the challenge from our closest cycles, family and friends whose ridicule by words and deeds often refreshes in the mind and heart of the prophet the age long saying “physician heal yourself.” This was the case with Jesus Christ in today's Gospel: “This is the carpenter, surely, the son of Mary.” This expression includes the danger the counter-witness of the prophet’s relatives poses to the message He carries and also shows the indisposition of those in this cycle to the message of the prophet just because they know His background and natural roots. These challenges, in new forms, are present in our generation and much more serious as everyone claims to be a master of himself. As prophets, we are invited to remain steadfast and never to give in the different antics of the evil one to stunt the growth of God’s Kingdom. When we have faith in God, there is no limit to what we can expect from God but when we reject God, when we despise God or rebel against Him, we place a barrier between ourselves and a free flow of God’s blessings. It is not the case that God’s power weakens when we lack faith, it is rather the case that we prevent ourselves from experiencing it. We become blind to God’s power or we find ways to explain away God’s intervention.

May the Lord renew in our hearts the prophetic zeal that will lead us to put aflame in the world, the fire of God’s love! Amen!! Good morning and happy Sunday!!!

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