First Reading: Ezekiel 2:2-5

Called in the Face of Opposition

2 The Spirit entered into me when he spoke to me, and set me on my feet; and I heard him who spoke to me. 3 He said to me, Son of man, I send you to the children of Israel, to a nation of rebels who have rebelled against me. They and their fathers have transgressed against me even to this very day. 4 The children are impudent and stiff-hearted: I am sending you to them; and you shall tell them, Thus says the Lord YHWH. 5 They, whether they will hear, or whether they will forbear, (for they are a rebellious house), yet shall know that there has been a prophet among them.

World English Bible

Ezekiel's call to prophecy was the longest in any of the prophetic books. Its timing was also unique. Ezekiel was called to prophecy after the fall of Jerusalem to the Babylonians in 597 B.C. The prophet served those in the Babylonian exile.

Standing before the throne of God (a vision described in 1:4-28), Ezekiel cowered low. Then, he received the Spirit, stood up, and heard his commission. (Only the Spirit can give one the power to stand before God.) His prophecy would be proclaimed to a stubborn people, so filled with self-pity and despair, with such hardened hearts, they would reject his message. But, strangely, their rejection would confirm the presence of God in the message. Indeed, if the people could receive the message and understand their plight, that would be the first step back to the Lord. It would be a step in repentance. God gave Ezekiel an impossible task. But his words would eventually bear fruit.

Even today, people do not want to hear God's message of repentance. Our words of faith many times fall on deaf ears. Our efforts towards evangelization seem to be wasted. In these times, we should remember Ezekiel who was rejected by the exile population. God worked even through his rejection. We should have the same faith as the "old, crazy prophet."

When have your efforts to share faith met opposition or indifference? How have those roadblocks discouraged you? How have they redoubled your efforts?