From a Creighton Student's Perspective
October 16th, 2008
Junior, Exercise Science Major
"Woe to you who build the memorials of the prophets whom your fathers killed…" Luke 11:47-54
In today’s gospel we see the Lord as he confronts the religious authorities of his people who will later succeed in putting him to death. Uncharacteristically, on this occasion, Jesus presents his anger and frustrations all the while in outspoken and public reprimand. His frustrations were rightly founded in the hypocrisy of the situation. Such contradictions are seen with the descriptions that the “scholars of the law”, or Scribes, continued to follow in the steps of their ancestors who killed the prophets. The Scribes were building memorials for prophets, yet they failed to abide by the prophets’ messages.
Jesus firmly acknowledges the deaths of the prophets from Abel to Zechariah as a testimony for the truth of God. The prophets worked towards a greater fulfillment of God’s plan and spoke to help others find the Truth. The Scribes, however, ignore the messages from the prophets. Rather, they distort God’s word as well as fail to practice the very words that they preach. By neglecting their proper duties, Jesus charges them with taking away the “key of knowledge”.
After reading this gospel and taking several minutes to try to internalize the message, I found myself trying to apply the words to modern times. History is full of prophets and martyrs who made an impact on the world in one way or another, but are their struggles and messages still remembered? Who are the prophets and martyrs of today? Do I support their struggles?
With each passing day, the list, if I may call it that, of prophets and martyrs grows longer and longer. It is easy to “memorialize” these people. It is easy to say that such people made a difference or went above and beyond their calling but at a cost. The more difficult, yet imperative action is that of picking up a cross to continue on with the very struggles to which the prophets and martyrs devoted their lives, whether they are fights for justice, truth, or love. The martyrs are no longer bound on the earth and so, without living actions their past struggles are futile. The martyrs and prophets serve as a spiritual beacon, an inspiration, however, we the living must now be the action.
My challenge for you would be to ask yourselves the same questions
I ask myself: Who are the prophets and martyrs of today? and Do
I support their struggles? Let us never forget those who struggle
for the sake of others and let us not be like the Scribes, people
who heard the Word but neglected action. Rather, let us become living
prophets in our ways.
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