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January 17th - Prophetic Motivation

2nd Sunday of Ordinary Time (C)

I think just about all of us have seen one of those movies with a riveting motivational speech
Most of the time you’ll see them in movies that have battlefields of sorts – whether it be an action adventure movie with a climatic battle, a sports movie, or even a movie about social change where the team or person we’re rooting for seems to be down and out.
One of the main characters will step in front of the troops
He or she will speak about the reality of the situation they are dealing with –
But despite the odds, they owe it to themselves and to the people that they love to give it all they’ve got
We’d be kidding ourselves to think that these speeches are a modern phenomenon
As a matter of fact, we can find them in the earliest forms of written language
And we can even find a number of them in scripture –
They are prophetic voices to help God’s people remember that they are the children of the God who made the universe, and still loves them so deeply

This weekend we read the words from a number of prophetic voices.
Isaiah is giving a rallying cry of sorts to the people of Israel
He is reminding Israel that despite what their eyes tell them sometimes, God is closer than they realize. 
And he uses an image to help people understand a bit more
Imagining a groom seeing his bride on their wedding day
And how close the two are in that moment when their eyes meet
God is even closer than that.

St. Paul is also reminding people that the God who created the Universe also created them
That he placed within each one of them a different gift to be nurtured and used
It is a matter of reminding themselves that God could have given the gift to anyone, but chose to give it to a particular individual.
And the Gospel reminds us that despite Mary saying little, her words are very prophetic
She presents Jesus with a problem
Cana would have been a poorer area in Galilee so we would have to believe that this couple must have been poor
They couldn’t afford enough wine
When Mary says they have no wine, she is asking her son to start His public ministry with this miracle
“Do whatever he tells you” are the last words she says in scripture.

When we hear motivation from the prophetic voices in movies – that give these speeches…
I know its enough to give so many of us goosebumps
We imagine for a moment that we are there
But we have to also remember that Scripture is the living Word of God
Its words are meant to inspire with Wisdom from our ancestors and wisdom from God
These words take us to another time and another place so that we can bring them to the here are now

God is asking us too through our baptismal call to be a prophetic voice in the world
You were baptized as priest, prophet, and king after all.
We see in the Old Testament a number of the prophets wrestle with this call (just think of Jonah being eaten by the whale)
But they always seem to realize this calling more and more as they draw closer to God
Take the time to pray and to listen to God
When you’re looking for the proper motivation, read from His word – the Bible
This book has inspired more people than any other book in human history
Don’t change something that has worked for so long
And as a prophet in the world, use the Word of God to help transform the world