Name of Jesus

07-04-2021Pastoral ReflectionsRev. Brian F. Manning

Today in common discussion we often use the word "revelation, or to reveal" in talking about parents who hold a 'gender reveal party". This word "revelation" is so frequently used in religious contexts. In religious use it means to "show forth" or to "make manifest." The root of the word, however, is a stem that means hidden or veiled. When we listen to or read scripture, the Bible, we are to recognize that God's thoughts and words are being shown forth or made manifest to us. When we read or listen and then also reflect on scripture, the Word of God, we learn many, many truths, ideas, and insights into ourselves and lives which may have been hidden for various reasons.

We learn in our first reading today that God's command to the prophet is clear and tough. We learn Ezekiel receives his mission gladly, even though his mission is to announce God's message to a close-minded and stubborn people, who wanted the message of God to be hidden, confusing, and easy to misunderstand. Ezekiel is certainly going to reveal the Word of God to them in plain terms.

Jesus also had people around Him who wanted God's truth to be mysterious or veiled and that as a result nothing is asked of them. We learn that went Jesus went to His hometown, great crowds of people appeared to listen to Him. But things were sour right away, as they became jealous and angry over what He said. They concluded, He was too ordinary to be able to reveal anything about salvation. They remained closed minded and hardened of heart.

Even though Jesus was harshly rejected by His own, it did not keep Him from His mission and or His message. Jesus continued to invite people and offer them His own life as a lesson. He did not use chicanery or manipulation to get the people to listen and believe. Jesus continued His mission throughout all of Galilee and beyond at this point in His journey to Jerusalem.

In the second reading Paul in his usual dramatic way invites us into his personal life by speaking about an unnamed affliction which does not keep him from or create a barrier to his vocation as a Christian. He suggests that our flaws can actually be the means by which we fulfill our calling from Jesus. Paul admits as a flawed person he has been called and does serve, we also are called just as we are and are able to serve the Lord just as we are.

We should conclude from the scripture this weekend that God's message for us comes sometimes in a plain and direct way, such as the prophet Ezekiel and at other times from a flawed messenger such as Saint Paul. Indeed the other important lesson we need to understand this weekend is that although we are flawed, we also must be God's messenger in the lives of the people around us. Perfection is not required to be a Christian or "intentional disciple", rather actually doing and acting is the Name of Jesus is the only requirement.