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THIRTEENTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME

CaptureMy brothers and sisters in Christ,

One of the aspects of a prophet is this inward sense: I don’t want to do it! So often we see the prophets of the Jewish Scriptures telling us: I did not want to speak to the people, I did not want to say harsh things, I did not want to be the one who said these things!

This inward sense is important because it helps us identify a true prophet. There are lots of people who say bad things, who tell us what is right and what is wrong. We have to be cautious of those who like to be prophets!! To be a prophet of the true God is not a vocation that one chooses for oneself. It is always a vocation, we can say this, imposed by God on a person.

Our first reading today, from the Prophet Ezekiel, speaks to this imposed vocation. The second reading, from the Second Letter to the Corinthians, reminds us prophets and all Christians give their best witness when they are aware of their own poverty and their weaknesses. Evangelization is about drawing others to Christ, attracting others to the Lord because of the goodness of the Lord. Paul could be a fearless preacher but was always aware of his own past and of his present weakness. This is a man who had Christians put to death and now preaches Jesus Christ.

The Gospel today is from Saint Mark and shows that even the people with whom Jesus had lived for so many years could not accept Him. They saw Him as simply an ordinary Jewish man. They could see and hear that He had received extraordinary gifts of wisdom and that He could work miracles–but that hardly dented their rejection of Him as simply an ordinary person.

They could not accept God dwelling in Jesus. Again, the prophet is rejected, the extraordinary work of God is rejected. Part of what we can learn today is that what is divine and extraordinary and wonderful is often hidden in the ordinary of human existence.

We are invited to seek the Lord Jesus in the poor and the weak and the rejected. Amen.

Father Jesus