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Prophets – welcome or not

 

When we were baptized we not only became members of God’s family we were also called to become prophets of our faith. In other words, our baptism is also a calling – it reminds us that the Gospel must be proclaimed, must be shared and must not be kept to ourselves.

This weekend’s readings emphasise the importance of responding to that prophetic call. However, many of us keep our Christian faith to ourselves and think of it as a private and personal matter. Pope Francis has voiced concern about this, especially in his encyclical The Joy of the Gospel. He tells us we should, in our own way, all be missionary disciples. Even if we do work up the courage to proclaim God’s word and be missionary disciples, some of us may feel we are wasting our time. People just won’t listen. We see this many times in the Bible – often the prophet’s words are ignored or rejected. Even Jesus encounters rejection in today’s gospel when he preaches in his home-town of Nazareth. It is hurtful for our words to be rejected. But, as prophets, we are just responsible for sharing the message, not responsible for the results. If people choose to ignore or reject the message we share we are still doing God’s will, but if we refuse to share God’s message we are not living up to his call.

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