Saturday, September 03, 2011

Tough advice

It's a bit late to post about today's Gospel (a great one!), but not too early to post a little reflection on tomorrow's readings. That first reading from Ezekiel is a challenging one. God tells the prophet that part of his job is to warn people who are on the wrong path. If people don't pay attention, that's between them and God. But if Ezekiel fails to warn them, then, God says, "I will hold you responsible."
Does that mean that we should spend the rest of our days warning people about impending judgment, lest we incur wrath ourselves? Seems as though many well-intentioned folks think they have no choice. If they see a transgression, they must speak up.
But God told Ezekiel to be discerning. He didn't say, "Ezekiel, if you see anyone falling short in some way you must intervene." He said, "When you hear me say anything, you shall warn them for me." Ezekiel has supernatural ears that can overhear God talking to his people. What the intended recipient cannot perceive on his own, Ezekiel is commissioned to communicate. Even in sign language (Ezekiel is noteworthy for prophesying through pantomime). Ezekiel's main prophetic job, though, was listening.
Maybe that's where we lesser types fall short. If we listened more to God's interior voice, there might be fewer prophets of doom--but more messages from God in our cities.

No comments: