Saturday 6 July 2024



The prophet speaks of his calling, in the first reading (Ezekiel 2:2-5) of this Sunday’s liturgy. He is filled with the Spirit who makes him stand up to be sent. A prophet is always called and sent. He is given a mission, which he must carry out among his fellow human beings. He is not called for his sake or his well-being. The prophet is a man for others. He has to be ready to leave his family and his country. Even among his people, he will be seen as a stranger who brings something different: a different way of seeing the world and a different behaviour. His actions are guided by the Spirit and motivated by the mission entrusted to him. He is not at liberty to do as he pleases because he is being sent: “Son of man, I am sending you”. However, the only difference about him is the mission he was entrusted with. In everything else, he is a human being like all the others. That’s why he is addressed as “son of man”. Being human, a prophet is subjected to the same hardships all humans have to endure. The important about him is that he becomes a sign among the people: “Whether they listen or not, this set of rebels shall know there is a prophet among them.” The “defiant and obstinate” people cannot say that they were not warned about their crooked ways.

In the second reading (2 Corinthians 12:7-10), Paul writes about his weaknesses and shortcomings, giving the impression that they are very uncomfortable to him. Humanly thinking, he would like to be freed of that suffering for his preaching to become more assertive. However, God makes him realise that “my power is at its best in weakness.” Whenever we seem to be at a loss, overburdened by our weaknesses, then whatever good we do is done by God’s grace.

In the gospel, Jesus’ mission appears to be a failure. He is despised and rejected in his village. Thinking to know everything about him, they know nothing and have become unable to believe. The first reading may be applied to Jesus: “Whether they listen or not, this set of rebels shall know there is a prophet among them.” And it may be applied as well to all the disciples of Jesus sent in a mission to proclaim the Gospel.

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