Open Bible:
June 2004 

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Where are the prophets?




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5th ordinary Sunday, Luke 4, 21-30:
Where are the prophets?

où sont les prophètes? "Amen, I tell you, no prophet is well accepted in his own country". Jesus said this in his own city of Nazareth, after giving a noticeable speech in the synagogue. 
It is surprising and disturbing to see that people from his own city did not accept the young prophet of Nazareth. Like many others before, Jesus experienced rejection.
Later on, when arriving with his disciples in front of Jerusalem, his voice was filled with emotion as he declared: " You Jerusalem, who kills the prophets…" He does not say: "you, who kills the priests" The priests are not on the front line, they watch the application of Moses' law, they keep the tradition and rule the religious institution. Arguments and even misunderstandings arise between prophets and priests.

on les tue Prophets live a dangerous life. They do not preach resignation but liberation. They are killed because they bring a new way of thinking that makes people uncomfortable and afraid. 
They don't make laws, neither organize nor define things. They open future, awake liberties; they push our conscience to rebel. They dare to proclaim that the poor have the preference of God, that now they are called to be responsible of their future.
They don't localize God in a specific place, even sacred, or they don't make God the property of one people, even if they are a chosen one. God is in action everywhere and for every body.
Of course prophets are not well seen by the present political power, they are found to be suspicious and are put aside by their institution. They upset people who feel disturbed in their way of living, in their belief and practice.
Today people are asking for prophets. Certainly the Holy Spirit is suggesting to some of us to become one of these prophets.

There are always women and men who are filled by a spirit of liberty and who express themselves with new words, but the Church quickly makes them quiet and takes away any responsibility from them.
Then they join the people who keep their distance from the Church and they become their hope for another world and another Church. 

la foule des parvis

The prophet of Nazareth has not marked out a runway. He defined nothing. Fortunately! Otherwise nobody will be speaking about him today. But he gave us a new dimension of God and liberated us of unnecessary rules. What a prodigious event in the history of humanity!