Fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Independence Day, 2021)
Book of the Prophet Ezekiel 2:2-5, Psalm 123:1-2, 2, 3-4, 2 Corinthians 12:7-10,
& Mark 6:1-6
Many people classify the Old Testament prophets with today’s prognosticators, such as those experts who can give betting odds on sporting events or forecasters that can predict the weather for the next thirty days. A prophet does not so much show us the future as reveal the existing conditions which could make it better. A prophet usually offers an alternative way to live as an individual and in the larger community of God’s holy people.
Today, the Prophet Ezekiel gets his marching orders directly from God. God gives him a personality profile of the people he will address, and it appears to be an almost hopeless assignment. God does comfort Ezekiel by telling him that whether he gets a good response or not, at least they will know there is Prophet among them when he says the words, “Thus says the Lord!”
In the narrative from the Gospel of Saint Mark, our Lord Jesus is a prophet returning to His hometown of Nazareth, and we very quickly learn that it wasn’t much of a homecoming. His neighbors question His family origin, and by doing so, belittle Him and surmise that He is not much for them to fret over. They know His family and background, so they conclude they do not have to listen to Him. Additionally, they couldn’t figure out where He obtained His wisdom and how He could perform such miraculous deeds. Since they could not explain it, they ignored Him. Our Lord left Nazareth to visit different places and found people who would listen and be taught by Him. Interestingly, next week’s Gospel has Jesus sending out His friends as prophets whom He instructs to expect rejection as well.
Friends, as a rule, most of us do not enjoy being interrupted. Phone calls, pagers, doorbells, neighbors all disturb our peace. But what of Jesus? He climbed into Peter’s boat, entered temples and synagogues, violated traditions, and, in many ways, tried to get the attention of those to whom He was sent. In the first chapter of his Gospel, Saint John wrote, “He came onto His own, and His own received Him not.” Well, guess what? He is still coming to interrupt our ways of relating, acting, and responding to life and God.
Sisters and brothers, many prophets are calling, knocking, and waving to us, asking for more attention, not for them, but for God and His relationship with His people. Perhaps, we might at least open our ears and listen to what they have to say?
Question of the Day: How will you allow the teachings of Jesus to interrupt your life in this “leave-me-alone” world?
Prayer: Lord, free us from sin and bring us to the joy that lasts forever.