Monday, March 16, 2009

"No prophet is accepted"

"Amen, I say to you, no prophet is accepted in his own native place."

The Lord Jesus is the One foretold by all the prophets, Himself the perfect fulfillment of all prophecy, and therefore the Christ:

"The word 'Christ' comes from the Greek translation of the Hebrew Messiah, which means 'anointed'. It became the name proper to Jesus only because he accomplished perfectly the divine mission that 'Christ' signifies. In effect, in Israel those consecrated to God for a mission that he gave were anointed in his name. This was the case for kings, for priests and, in rare instances, for prophets. This had to be the case all the more so for the Messiah whom God would send to inaugurate his kingdom definitively. It was necessary that the Messiah be anointed by the Spirit of the Lord at once as king and priest, and also as prophet. Jesus fulfilled the messianic hope of Israel in his threefold office of priest, prophet and king." (CCC 436)

Naaman the Syrian worships the God of Israel on the evidence of the works of His prophet. "...there is no God in all the earth, except in Israel." (2 Kgs 5:1-15ab) The Lord's own people, who witnessed His miracles and many other good works, not only refuse Him -- they would go so far as to kill him: "they were all filled with fury. They rose up, drove him out of the town, and led him to the brow of the hill on which their town had been built, to hurl him down headlong."

Our Holy Father has suffered this perverse rejection himself as he relates in his Letter to the Bishops: "I was saddened by the fact that even Catholics who, after all, might have had a better knowledge of the situation, thought they had to attack me with open hostility." But he also gives thanks that, though the people of his own house and his own faith may reject him, there are yet others who will accept him as a prophet of the marriage of reason and religion:

"Precisely for this reason I thank all the more our Jewish friends, who quickly helped to clear up the misunderstanding and to restore the atmosphere of friendship and trust which – as in the days of Pope John Paul II – has also existed throughout my pontificate and, thank God, continues to exist."

Let us pray that such behavior, shameful and unworthy of Christians, never again scandalize others against the Christ, the One in whom all prophecy is fulfilled, our Divine Founder and Lord.


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