Do We Recognize the Prophets Among Us?

In today’s Gospel from St. Mark, Jesus has a tough time in “his native place.” Despite the apparent wisdom of his teachings, recognizing him as simply the son of Mary and brother and sister to those among them, “they took offense at him.” Jesus’ response is one we are familiar with: “A prophet is not without honor except in his native place.”

I suspect we tend to have an image of what prophets look like. When we hear the word we think of people like the prophets of the Old Testament – Ezekiel (who we hear about in our first Mass reading today), Isaiah and Micah – people who were special and set apart from others. In that sense, we are not dissimilar from the people in Jesus’ “native place,” making the same mistake they did.

The question (or questions) I encourage us all to reflect on is this: Do we recognize the prophets among us? In each other? Or are we like those who could not hear the Word from Jesus because he wasn’t’ what they expected a prophet to look like. (He as just one of them.)

Do we recognize the prophets who walk among us or do we dismiss them?

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2 thoughts on “Do We Recognize the Prophets Among Us?

  1. One of the better, and simpler definitions of a prophet I’ve heard is one who brings God to the people (as compared to a priest who brings the people before God). That, obviously, is a rather broad definition and flies in the face of many so-called “prophets” (as self-proclaimed as they may be) appearing everywhere today, particulary with the ranks of protestantism. One school of thought regarding a prophet is he/she must bring a fresh, inspiring and revelatory word straight from the throne of God! The danger in this thinking is that too many well intended, but mislead Christians, place way too much credence in what they are saying and never really examine their words against scripture. They also begin to “see” this person in an unhealthy way, believing they hold some extra-human power and all that they speak is “truth.”

    I like my definition becasue it easily casts every believer in the role of “prophet,” not in the sense of an OT prophet, but as one who is imbued with God’s Spirit and through that indwelling presence can (and should) minister the word of God in love. shalom

  2. To those who more easily embrace, that through God’s unconditional love and “new covenant,” Jesus’ last breath became their first – than embracing, in birth a first breath is shrouded in (original) sin – the burden of being stained and pre-judged is often a shadow that follows and smothers forever.

    For them and many who will never hear the name of Jesus spoken, what examination (of words “…against scripture,”) is required or necessary? Love and blessings withheld, seem not of God – Original sin, a millstone for Christians only?…

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