>“Hard of face and obstinate of heart are they to whom I am sending you. But you shall say to them: Thus says the LORD GOD! And whether they heed or resist, for they are a rebellious house, they shall know that a prophet has been among them” (Ez 2:4-5). This closing statement in the First Reading today captures the central message that runs through our Scriptures readings today: the challenges of our roles as prophets belonging to a prophetic Church.READ MORE
There are three interwoven themes in today’s readings: listening to God, faith vs. good works, and losing our life in order to find it. How are they related?
The Suffering Servant of Isaiah undergoes much distress and ridicule, but is able to bear it because he has listened to the promptings of God day a er day. The psalm tells us that God listens, too. God hears our prayers for help and is always ready to save us. As our faith deepens, so does our desire to do the works of justice and charity that build up the reign of God. God directs our actions in ways we o en cannot see, and we don’t always see the results. We are called upon in faith to trust that what we do is enough, and that willingness to listen to God’s promptings will lead us in the right way.
For several weeks we have listened to readings that have recounted just how arduous the work of prophets and disciples can be. In today's Gospel, the Lord Jesus listens to the reports of those he had sent out "two by two" to minister to the people. After the apostles reported what they had done, Jesus, recognizing their fatigue, says, "Come away by yourselves to a deserted place and rest awhile" (Mark 6:31).READ MORE
Today's scriptures invite us to listen to two calls. The ﬁrst is the call issued by the LORD to the prophet Amos, the "shepherd and a dresser of sycamores" (Amos 7:14). The second is the call the Lord Jesus issued to the Twelve, whom he sent out "two by two" (Mark 6:7). These faithful people responded to the call, prophesying and preaching to the people to whom they had been sent. Each of us received a call when we were baptized.
The second reading invites us to ponder that call as we are reminded that we are chosen in Christ and that, in love, God "destined us for adoption" (Ephesians 1:5). As adopted daughters and sons of God we are called to bring the presence of Christ into our marriages, families, schools, and places of work. Let us be inspired today to say yes to the call we hear once again through God's living word.