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Liturgical day: Thursday 28th in Ordinary Time

Gospel text (Lc 11,47-54): Jesus said to the Pharisees, «A curse is on you, for you build memorials to the prophets your ancestors killed. So you approve and agree with what your ancestors did. Is it not so? They got rid of the prophets, and now you can build!. The Wisdom of God also said, ‘I will send prophets and apostles and this people will kill and persecute some of them’. But the present generation will have to answer for the blood of all the prophets that has been shed since the foundation of the world, from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah, who was murdered between the altar and the sanctuary. Yes, I tell you, the people of this time will have to answer for them all. A curse is on you, teachers of the Law, for you have taken the key of knowledge. You yourselves have not entered, and you prevented others from entering».

As Jesus left that place, the teachers of the Law and the Pharisees began to harass him, asking him endless questions, setting traps to catch him in something he might say.

«A curse is on you, for you build memorials to the prophets your ancestors killed»

Fr. Pedro-José YNARAJA i Díaz
(El Montanyà, Barcelona, Spain)

Today, we may mull over the meaning, acceptance and treatment given to the prophets: «I will send prophets and apostles and this people will kill and persecute some of them» (Lk 11:49). They were persons of any social or religious condition that received the divine message and were imbibed by it; driven by the Holy Spirit, they communicated it with signs and words intelligible in their own time. It was a message conveyed by means of discourses, not very laudable, generally, or by feats, almost always, difficult to accept. A characteristic of the prophecy is its discomfort. The gift is rather inconvenient for the recipient, as, deep inside, it hurts, while being quite embarrassing for the environment, that today, thanks to the Net or the satellites, can be divulged all over the world.

Prophet's contemporaries pretend to condemn him to silence, and they slander him, discredit him, and so on until he dies. It is when that moment finally arrives that it is time to build a memorial and pay homage to him, as he will not be a nuisance anymore for anyone. At present, we also have some prophets who enjoy universal reputation. Mother Therese, John XXIII, Monsignor Romero... Do we remember what they postulated and expected from us?, do we carry out what they showed us? Our generation will have to render accounts for the ozone layer we have managed to deplete, for wasting water resources, but also for forgetting that which our prophets have told us.

There still are persons pretending “the right to exclusive knowledge”, that —in the best of cases— are willing to share with their kinship only, who allow them to be well set up in their success and fame. Persons who do not let in those who try to enter the field of cognition, lest they get to know as much as themselves and move on ahead of them: «A curse is on you, teachers of the Law, for you have taken the key of knowledge. You yourselves have not entered, and you prevented others from entering» (Lk 11:52).

Now, as in Jesus' times, there are many who analyze phrases and study texts to discredit whoever may inconvenience them with their words: do we also do the same? «There is nothing more dangerous than to judge the things of God with human discourses» (St. John Crysostom).