Weekend Reflections for 1/20/2017
"The prophets Isaiah and John the Baptist are a focus in the readings for Sunday. What does it mean to be a prophet? Foretelling the future is only a consequence and not always part of a prophet's job.
The Hebrew word which we translate as 'prophet' means a 'spokesperson' or 'mouthpiece', that is, one who is the mouth of God, through whom God speaks to the people. Most often the canonical prophets spoke God's judgment about the political and economic affairs of Israel and Judah with a pointedness that makes 21st century Americans queasy. God spoke through them about the policies of the kings - marriages, alliances, national security, the priority of the powerless and the poor in the life of the nation.
The prophets acknowledged in the scriptures were rejected by the rulers, the councils, the clergy and often the comfortable people, only to be accepted after the divine warnings were proved true by subsequent catastrophes like foreign occupations, exile, and finally the destruction of the temple and the dissolution of the nation."
- Francis X. Ryan, SJ