Page 18 - July2012v1

Basic HTML Version

Fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Ezekiel 2:2-5
Psalm: 123:1-2, 2, 3-4
2 Corinthians 12:7-10
Mark 6:1-6A
The readings this Sunday reflect on the nature of being a prophet and what it calls on us
to sacrifice in order to be true to God˅s teaching.
Prophets are usually not comfortable people to be around! Just think about John the
Baptist, a somewhat alarming, uncomfortable figure, with his camel hair clothes and his
rather unusual diet of honey and locusts. I suspect that he was the kind of person that
many of us would cross the street to avoid. Prophets are often like that, aren˅t they?
They might not all have John˅s dress sense or his taste in insects, but they jar us, they
don˅t fit in with us, they˅re prickly, and they turn the status quo on its head. That˅s a
description that applies even to Jesus, although we have a tendency to downplay that
part of his ministry. Have you ever heard of a Church called ˈChrist the Prophetˉ?
Prophets don˅t just challenge us to change as individuals, they challenge the wider soci-
ety to change. And let˅s make no bones about it: prophets usually pay a steep price for
their nonconformity, for challenging us to change on more than just a personal level.
John the Baptist was beheaded, Jesus was crucified, Martin Luther King and Archbishop
Oscar Romero were assassinated.
So, it˅s really not surprising that most of us are only too happy to skate over, or just flat
out ignore, the ˈpropheticˉ part of our baptismal call to be ˈpriest, prophet and king.ˉ A
friend of mine, a deeply thoughtful, faithful Catholic, once said to me: ˈI can˅t be a
prophet, I don˅t have the courage.ˉ Well, the problem with that response, while it˅s
completely understandable, is that it avoids dealing with the fact that if we are to be true
to our calling as disciples of Christ, then we don˅t actually have a choice about being
prophetic. It˅s part of the package of being a Christian, however unsuited we think we
are. Whoever said, ˈGod doesn˅t call the qualified, but qualifies the calledˉ got it exactly
For those of us who are regular people, not the Martin Luther Kings or Dorothy Days of
the world, taking a prophetic stance isn˅t about starting a movement or leading marches
in the streets. Rather, it˅s a question of how far we are prepared to go in our daily lives
to live out the message of radical, inclusive love that Jesus brought to us. Being an
everyday prophet means not going along just to get along, and not turning a blind eye to
the injustices, big or small, which happen around us. It does mean stepping outside of