14th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year B by Fr. Isaac Atta Mensah

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14th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year B by Fr. Isaac Atta Mensah

1st Reading Ezekiel 2:2-5
Responsorial Psalm: Psalms 123:1-2, 2, 3-4
2nd Readings: 2 Corinthians 12:7-10
Gospel Reading: Mark 6:1-6

Theme: More Than A Carpenter: The Call To A Prophetic Life


If there’s any title in Christendom that has been popularized in the last decade in our part of the world then it is the term “Prophet”. In Ghana for instance there are about thousand and one self-styled “Prophets”. The issue of who is a Prophet and the mission of Prophet is today being taken up by the readings of the liturgy.

Explanation of the text

The English word Prophet which has its root in Greek literally means one who utters divinely inspired revelation. In other words a Prophet is a spokesperson of a Supreme Being nay God. Mostly every true Prophet is called by God with a specific mission to accomplish. But again his calling and mission are not without challenges. Every Prophet faces challenges in his prophetic role. And these challenges can be from the people he is to minister to, his own weaknesses and lastly from his closest circles.

In our first reading taken from the Prophet Ezekiel we hear about his calling and the mission entrusted to him. With Ezekiel we come to know the first challenge which is ‘to the rebellion people’ that is to the people we minister to. At the time of Ezekiel, the people of Israel had grown so obstinate to the calls of God and right from the beginning God told him without mincing words the kind of opposition that awaits him as he is sent out.

By virtue of our baptism as the catechism of the Catholic Church teaches we all share in this Prophetic ministry. For us in our time there is much rebellion against God, against nature, against divine institutions (the church), and the fabrics of our moral, social and cultural heritage. So, God speaks to us today as he said to Ezekiel in our first reading: “Son of man, I am sending you… to the rebels who have turned against me.” So, we must be that voice that cries against injustice, oppression, immorality, corruption, and ungodliness. I therefore want to commend the Ghana Catholic Bishops Conference for issuing two circulars last week condemning in no uncertain terms, police and soldiers brutalities at Ejura and Wa. As Christians we must be bold to speak truth to power.

In the second reading, Paul describes his burden for the sake of the gospel. This burden was like a thorn in his flesh. For Paul, the burden includes: “insults, hardships, persecutions, loneliness, and agonies.” They were his cross as a prophet. Unfortunately, these are things we do not want to experience. This is because we do not like discomfort. So, we want everyone to like us and to say only good things about us. This is our second challenge as Prophets; our own weaknesses often weigh us down but that is what makes us human too.

The third level of challenge for the Prophet is the one that comes from his closest circles. After a successful missionary activities in the neighbouring towns and villages ( especially healing of the woman with the issue of blood and raising Jairus’ daughter) naturally one would have thought that these positive results would continue in his own hometown but unfortunately he was met with hostility and doubt.

On this occasion, however, the amazement immediately turned negative as the crowd vocalized a series of questions that led them to the issue of Jesus’ own origins. And, they — hometown folk — seemed to know all too well from where he came. If anyone had the right to question Jesus’ origins, it should be those who knew him best. Their description of him as “the carpenter,” “the son of Mary,” ignored any mention of a father figure. So, they know a lot about his family. This information would be a direct insult on Jesus’ character, his honour.

As Christians called to be Prophets in our time, we need to prepare to face opposition from our closest pals, families, friends and loved ones. Sometimes they may even use our background to ridicule us. But this shouldn’t discourage us from doing good and being the moral conscience of the society. Remember they may reject the messenger but the message will still be preached.



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