Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Prophets. How Do You Know? (2018-07-08)

8 July 2018     /    14th Sunday Ordinary Time, Year B

•• Ezekiel 2:2-5    •• Psalm 123  •• 2 Corinthians 12:7-10 •• + Mark 6:1-6a  ••

Title:  How Do You Know?

 [__01__]    How do you know if a major event, concert sporting event – Super Bowl or World Cup – is taking place at the Meadowlands, Met Life Stadium?
          We know not only by watching the news but also by our experience on the roads and highways. We want to KNOW before we GO.
          You know – we know – based on the traffic patterns and our need to avoid the Route 3 and NJ Turnpike interchange, especially before and after the event.  We might, however, get lucky and travel through the Meadowlands during the event … because everyone is parked and inside.

 [__02__]    How do you know? We know based on what we see.
Nevertheless, we cannot measure the success or effectiveness of any such event based only on the people– attendance figures – or what the crowd may be doing or not doing.

[__03__]   In the Gospel of Mark – of last Sunday – and this Sunday – we observe that the Lord draws a crowd and attracts people.
          Last Sunday, he attracted the synagogue official, Jairus, and the woman suffering from the hemorrhage.  But, what we also observe is that both Jairus and the woman stand out by their confident attitude toward Jesus.
          The crowd, on the other hand, does not expect much.
          In this Sunday’s Gospel, the crowd – at large – had a similar attitude.
          This time, the crowd is the Nazareth – hometown community – of Jesus.  They should love him, adore him, right?
          This is the home field advantage, right?
          How do you know that Jesus is home in Nazareth?
          Do we know he is at home because he is accepted, welcomed, victorious? Not so much…

 [__04__]   How do we know that a prophet is in our midstIn Ezekiel, we read that the Israelites shall know that a prophet has been among them. (Ezekiel 2:5)
          Sometimes, the prophet is not welcomed but gives us something we need to know – if not immediately – at some point we need to know.  
          You and I may experience many different types of TRAFFIC DELAYS, TIME DELAYS, CONGESTION, WAITING.
          We do not always get what we want, or we do not get what we want immediately.
          This also involves the cross, taking up our cross each day.
          It may also be a prophecy, a prophet may be in our midst.
          How do we know?

[__05__]         How do I know that a prophet is in my house?

          [E.g., … ]At the time I graduated from high school and was leaving for college, my grandfather was recovering from some serious health issues. At the time, he could no longer live independently in his own home.
            My mother invited him to live at our house. This invitation and his recovery time coincided – almost exactly with my departure to go away for college.
            Now, as the eldest child in my family, I was fortunate enough to have my own room. That is, I had my own room in August. But, this room became my grandfather’s room and by Columbus Day, I was sleeping on the couch.
            A prophet was in our midst. How did I know?

[__06 __]         At the time, I did not recognize – but did not recognize later – how important it was to my mother to care for her father and to do so in our house.
            I was, in my internal attitude, no angel and recall being uncomfortable during my visits home during that time.
            However, I also learned through this experience that we have the power to bless, to serve, to forgive, and to do so not because of what a person does or delivers, but simply because the person is.
            Pope John Paul II speaks of this as the gift of self and of loving another person for his own sake, for her own sake.
            And, learning to do this first at him, we then are able to go out on the road – to go on the road – to love others.  John Henry Newman writes that private virtue – at home – is the foundation of public virtue.
            I did not know at the time, that a prophet was in my midst, was in my room.
          How do we know that a prophet is in our midst?    [__fin__]  

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