Meditation and Questions for Reflection or Group Discussion
(Ezekiel 2:2-5; Psalm 123:1-4; 2 Corinthians 12:7-10; Mark 6:1-6)
Allowing the Holy Spirit to Speak Through Us
“They shall know that a prophet has been among them.” (Ezekiel 2:5)
We tend to think of a “prophet” as someone who forecasts the future. Of course, some Old Testament prophets did know the future. But being a prophet is a much broader call to proclaim the good news of what God has done, and what he is prepared to do. When you look at it that way, it’s clear that we are all called to be prophets.
Does this sound scary to you? Don’t worry. You have the same Spirit who empowered Ezekiel, Isaiah, Elijah, and all the others. You have all you need to become a prophetic voice in your home and community!
A word of caution, however: A prophet speaks God’s word, and that word comes from the Holy Spirit, not just from the prophet’s own thoughts and imaginings. So the best thing we can do is to open our hearts to the Holy Spirit more and more each day. As we learn how to do this, we’ll begin to hear him speaking to our hearts. We will feel him prompting us to speak to this or that person, and we will get a sense of what we should say—and what we should not say!
How can we tell if something is coming from the Holy Spirit? If the sense you are getting leads you to love Jesus more, to be more compassionate, or to be more courageous in evangelizing, it’s probably from the Spirit. If it leads to prideful self-reliance, inappropriate fear, or self-centered frustration, it’s probably from another source. And even if the “good” senses are coming from your own mind, they won’t hurt you. As Jesus promised, “By their fruits you will know them” (Matthew 7:16).
God doesn’t want to make it hard for us to become prophetic. We just have to step out in faith and test the results. We can light the way for others, telling them about the abundant life that God has in store for them. And we’ll actually be giving them a glimpse into the future!
“Jesus, pour your Spirit on me so that I can proclaim your salvation.”
Sunday, July 8, 2012
Questions for Reflection/Discussion by Catholic Men
- In the first reading, Ezekiel tells of his commissioning to be a prophet to the nation of Israel. Prior to the commissioning, Ezekiel says, “the spirit entered me” (Ezekiel 2:2). Why do you think receiving the Spirit was so important to him in fulfilling his prophetic mission? In what way is receiving the Holy Spirit important to your fulfilling God’s call for your life?
- Our response in the Responsorial Psalm is, “Our eyes are fixed on the Lord, pleading for his mercy.” How easy it is to take our eyes off the Lord during the busyness of our days. What steps can you take to turn to the Lord more often during the day?
- In the second reading, what do you think the Lord meant when he said these words to St. Paul, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness”? What do you think Paul meant when he said, “for when I am weak, then I am strong”? How would these words apply to your life? Can you share some specific examples?
- In the Gospel, we read that the people in Jesus’ hometown were not able (or perhaps unwilling) to give him the honor that was due him, “they took offense at him.” Why do you think they failed to recognize Jesus for who he is: the Messiah, Son of God, and Lord? Why do you think that Jesus “was not able to perform any mighty deed there, apart from curing a few sick people by laying his hands on them”? Why do you think Jesus “was amazed at their lack of faith”?
- What do you think Jesus’ reaction would be to your faith in him? Why?
- This question is posed in the meditation, “How can we tell if something is coming from the Holy Spirit?” How would you answer this question?
- Take some time now to pray for a fresh outpouring of the Holy Spirit in your life, so that your faith would be strengthened and you would have a new boldness in sharing your faith with others. Use the prayer at the end of the meditation as the starting point.