Year B: 14th Sunday in Ordinary Time
First Reading: Ezekiel 2: 2-5
This reading, chosen to complement the Gospel, offers us further insight into the role of the prophet.
Ezekiel has been chosen to go back to the Israelites and remind them of their covenant with God and to show them how far from that they have moved. It is not going to be an easy task. It is all too likely as God points out, that the rebels will not listen to Ezekiel any more than they listened to the prophets before them - but their response is only part of the purpose of Godís sending Ezekiel.
God is aware of what might happen - but knows too that the rebellious people will recognise that Ezekiel has come from God and speaks His words. Whether they respond or not is secondary to the fact that they have been told. The parallel with the Gospel is clear: the people in Jesusí home town knew they had a prophet among them but did not know how to react to its being one of their own.
It is very easy with the gift of hindsight to look at the responses of the people of Ezekielís and Jesusí time and believe that we would do differently. The sad fact is that human nature has changed far less than other aspects of human life. There are still prophets among us who speak words from God. There are people who look at the world and take a Godís eye view and speak and write of what they see. Where their words are in accord with our own opinions, we do see them as prophets - and may wonder why others remain unconvinced. Sometimes - perhaps more often - however, their words are challenging and we feel uneasy and find it easier to reject the person who is speaking rather than reflect on the truth in what they are saying.
What does it mean for me?
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