This weekend’s Gospel tells of Jesus’ return to his hometown and people’s negative reaction to “one of their own”.

What is a prophet? Is it someone who tells the future?

Is it one of those mysterious people who ask you to cross their hands with silver so that they can read the lines of your life story? Someone maybe who could tell you the exact numbers you’ll need for next week’s Lotto? Is a prophet someone who can tell us the weather forecast for the next six months? No, a prophet is not found among this group.

A prophet is often one who disturbs us because his or her words seek a response that may include action. A prophet might sometimes point out our weakness in the hope we’ll claim our strength. A prophet might speak of the local in the hope that we’ll shape the global. A prophet might whistle a bitter tune so that we might sing a sweeter song. A prophet is often very annoying and frequently unpopular.

Chances are there are prophets in our parish. People asking us to do better, achieve more, gossip less, work together, build up, pray, and recognise the gifts we have been given. There may be people who have vision for our community – for our parish – for our Faith and they’re local. Some of them might be ordained or professed but chances are most are not. We know them.

They have something to say. They may well annoy us. We may well disappoint them. The question is: “Are they welcome?”

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