Being a prophet is simple in definition, not in execution. God, himself, recognizes the difficulty of the life of the prophet. In this Sunday’s 1st reading, God’s words to Ezekiel imply that the Israelites to whom Ezekiel is to be sent, will probably not heed his voice. In fact, they will not listen to him. St. Paul in our second reading speaks from experience as a prophet who has found his strength in weakness. Even Jesus in today’s Gospel refers to himself as an unappreciated and unheeded prophet.
The Church has seen countless prophetic witnesses throughout the centuries. Many are now the saints whose feast days we mark on our calendars and under whose patronage we place our church communities, hospitals, schools and other organizations. Some were recognized as prophets in their lifetimes, others not until much later and still others were killed because their message was found to be so challenging. There has never been a time in the history of salvation in which God has remained silent to his children and even when we as individuals or as a Church have failed to heed God’s Words spoken to us through modern-day prophets, God continues to reach out, nudging, suggesting, cajoling and coaxing us to return to fidelity to the covenant in Jesus.
“A prophet is not without honor except in his native place and among his own kind and in his own house.”