Daily Reflection – Aug 11, 2016
Thursday 11 August 2016
First Reading: Ezekiel 12:1-12
Do not forget the works of the Lord!
Psalm 77(78):56-59, 61-62
Gospel Reading: Matthew 18:21 – 19:1
Today’s Saint: St Clare, Virgin (Memorial)
Peter approached Jesus and asked him,
“Lord, if my brother sins against me,
how often must I forgive him?
As many as seven times?”
Jesus answered, “I say to you, not seven times but seventy-seven times.
That is why the Kingdom of heaven may be likened to a king
who decided to settle accounts with his servants.
When he began the accounting,
a debtor was brought before him who owed him a huge amount.
Since he had no way of paying it back,
his master ordered him to be sold,
along with his wife, his children, and all his property,
in payment of the debt.
At that, the servant fell down, did him homage, and said,
‘Be patient with me, and I will pay you back in full.’
Moved with compassion the master of that servant
let him go and forgave him the loan.
When that servant had left, he found one of his fellow servants
who owed him a much smaller amount.
He seized him and started to choke him, demanding,
‘Pay back what you owe.’
Falling to his knees, his fellow servant begged him,
‘Be patient with me, and I will pay you back.’
But he refused.
Instead, he had the fellow servant put in prison
until he paid back the debt.
Now when his fellow servants saw what had happened,
they were deeply disturbed,
and went to their master and reported the whole affair.
His master summoned him and said to him, ‘You wicked servant!
I forgave you your entire debt because you begged me to.
Should you not have had pity on your fellow servant,
as I had pity on you?’
Then in anger his master handed him over to the torturers
until he should pay back the whole debt.
So will my heavenly Father do to you,
unless each of you forgives his brother from his heart.”
When Jesus finished these words, he left Galilee
and went to the district of Judea across the Jordan.
I did what I was told. (Ezekiel 12:7)
When we think of a prophet, we probably conjure up images of a man who is a little bit . . . out there. Maybe we picture John the Baptist, clothed in animal skins and eating locusts. Or we might picture someone who is very old and wise, like Gandalf from The Lord of the Rings. Whatever comes to mind, a prophet is really just someone whom God calls to carry a message to his people. In today’s passage, Ezekiel is carrying God’s message in an unusual way: he is acting it out.
Throughout the Old Testament, messengers were sent to the people of Israel to call them back to the Lord. Sometimes they used direct messages. Other times they made their point through stories. Still other times, however, the Lord called them to give the people a visual representation, so that the message would strike them more deeply.
As it was with prophets’ words or stories, their actions met with mixed results; some people heeded them, while others ignored them. It was easy to discount them, after all. They could be easily seen as a quirky, overly dramatic minority.
But now, with the coming of Christ, things have changed. Instead of an occasional isolated message coming from one lone prophet, now there are millions of believers living out the prophetic message of God. There’s a worldwide Church that is telling everyone about the Father’s love and the promise of redemption.
Did you know that you are a prophet? It’s true! You have the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Christ, in you, and that Spirit is capable of making you into a messenger of the gospel. You don’t have to do anything unusual. Just try your best to follow the Lord, and you’ll stand out enough. Your kindness and compassion will strike a chord in people. Your decision to sacrifice time and energy to help someone, especially when it’s easier to turn a blind eye, sends a message about God’s constant care for his people. Your patience and forgiveness can melt someone’s heart.
Don’t ever think you don’t matter. You are part of the Church; you are a prophetic presence in this world. You are a messenger for Christ.
“Lord, let me be your messenger today and always.”