Daily Reflection
August 2nd, 2000
Richard Super
History Department
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Saint Eusebius of Vercelli, bishop - Memorial
Jeremiah 15:10, 16-21
Psalms 59:2-4, 10-11, 17, 18
Matthew 13:44-46

Today’s liturgy attends to prophets.  It is the feast day of St. Eusebius, a 4th century bishop from the Piedmont region of Italy, remembered particularly for his lifelong protest against the then popular belief in Arianism.  For resolutely contending that Jesus, as God the Son, was co-equal and co-eternal with God the Father, Eusebius suffered rejection, exile, imprisonment, and even physical abuse.  Fittingly, today’s first reading is from the prophet, Jeremiah, “a man of strife and contention to all the land,” who laments that he was ever born, yet still finds strength in the certainty that he was speaking God’s truth.  In response, God promises to “make you toward this people a solid wall of brass.  Though they fight against you, they shall not prevail, for I am with you, to deliver and rescue you.”

My reflection on prophets, while it usually turns to self-examination of how well I am prophet to others, this time turned to remembrances of those prophets of my own life, “mouthpieces” of God I am sure, who brought His sometimes uncomfortable truth to me.  The grade school teacher who confronted me with my individual worth and talents.  The mentor who demanded a professional attitude and demeanor.  A spouse who insisted on a cheerful approach to daily life.  For these mostly distant “prophets” I prayed with gratitude; each was certainly a messenger from God’s love.

But who are my present-day prophets?  And do I listen to them with the same sense of acceptance and gratefulness?  How, for instance, do I hear the spiritual director who points me toward a different, less familiar, path?  Am I grateful for the friend who challenges me to live life more out of the heart and less out of my head?  Do I exalt in the daughter who grows up and away gracefully, thereby calling me to grow with her?  Do I understand and honor them also as the loving bearers of God’s truth?  Do I really realize that each of them are pointing out to me, as the Gospel proclaims, where lies that “treasure buried in a field” and where I might find that “pearl of great price?”     

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