Moses had led the Hebrew people out of Egypt. After escaping the Egyptian soldiers, they gather at Mount Horeb. Here is the place where God would speak to His people directly. As the time drew closer to when God would speak a deafening sound of trumpet blasts, thunder, and clanging of cymbals grew louder and louder until the people began to leave Mount Horeb to get away from the loud noise of God. The people told Moses, you talk to God and we will listen to you. We cannot listen to God because we might die. The people were frightened and feared God. All the idols and statues they were accustomed to seeing never talked to them the way God did. Moses agreed. This is where we are at in Deuteronomy for today’s reading. Moses is now telling the people that one day God will raise up a prophet from among them. This person will only speak what God tells Him to speak. And that all are to listen to him. Today we recognize that this man is Jesus.
In the gospel, we see Jesus enter the temple and begin to teach with authority. The authority He has is from God. We remember the beginning of the Gospel of John, … in the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God. The authority Jesus has is because He is the Word, and He is God. The great prophet Moses spoke of in Deuteronomy is now in the presence of those in the temple. And He is speaking with authority.
What is authority? When teachers and scholars speak, they reference what others have written or said. Those who write textbooks or study materials will list in the footnotes where they did their research and who they are quoting. Jesus does none of this. What He speaks is the Word of God. There is a difference in the way Jesus speaks compared to others. And people recognize this difference.
The unclean spirits know who Jesus is. Do you know Jesus? When we were baptized, we were anointed to be priest, prophet, and king. That means you are called to be a prophet. We might feel anxious about being a prophet. For many people, we think of how strange Elijah or John the Baptist were as prophets. We assume we must be like them. Not so. To be a prophet is to proclaim the truth. To share the gospel message of Jesus. To incorporate the gospel message into all we do everyday of our lives.
It is our responsibility to discern false prophets as well. Listening to false information either causes us to be outraged or fearful. A prophet recognizes the truth and remains at peace. The Holy Spirit will give you words you need at the right time. Turn off the TV this week. Abstain from listening to inciteful news programs. Rather find quiet and peace through prayer and reading of scripture. Come to mass or join us online. Spend time with your family in prayer. They need to witness you as a true prophet of God, sharing His grace and peace.
May the Lord bless you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen