Ezekiel was called in the first reading of today to speak to his people who were described as rebels, hard of face and obstinate of heart (Ezekiel 2:2-5). They and their ancestors revolted against God. In the second reading (2 Corinthians 12:7-10), St Paul, in exercising his ministry, had to put up with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions and constraints. In the Gospel (Mark 6:1-6) Jesus was rejected by his own people just because of his familiarity with them. They knew his background.

The message of this day is in 2 parts. First is that God sends us Prophets in different ways. They do not need to be strange looking, with long robes, or of obscure origin. They don’t need to be people that are able to foretell the future. Prophets can come from people of our everyday life. Anyone who directs you in the path of righteousness is a prophet. No matter how familiar he/she is, do not throw away his/her message.

Secondly, we are called to be prophets to others. This call is rooted in our baptism. Like Ezekiel, Paul and Jesus, we need to cultivate a godly spirit to be able to carry out the ministry even in the face of rebellion, obstinacy, misunderstanding, contempt, insults and rejection. The mission may not take us far. We may not become world class prophets and television Evangelists. The mission may be in your family and neighbourhood; to change the heart of a stubborn child, bring back a wayward man, calm a nagging woman, correct an unfriendly neighbour, etc.

It is indeed a risky and most times a thankless job. Don’t forget the fact that the prophet is also a human being with his own weaknesses. The good news is that the grace of God is sufficient. God does not give us an assignment without the corresponding grace. We have a prophetic mission. Yet we are ordinary human beings. We need to open up to the sufficient grace of God to supply for our inadequacies and weaknesses and empower us against the obstacles in our mission.

We need faith to accept the word of God proclaimed to us in different ways. We also need faith to be able to exercise our prophetic ministry even in the face of persecution and rejection. This type of faith brings success in our ministry and opens us to the miraculous deeds of God. If Jesus is to marvel at us, let him marvel at our faith and not at our lack of faith.