The Unschooled Prophet Shouts Down the Learned Rabbi (a one-minute Sunday reflection)

Readings for the Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Truth to Power

He strides into the synagogue
Stinking whores, beggars and bandits creeping behind.

The presiding rabbi knows why he’s there.
He’s come to disrupt his Holy Mass.
“I know who you are: The Holy One of God”
The robed demon screams in terror.

“You hypocrite!”
The prophet shouts back.
“You know nothing of holiness,
Be gone!”

The devil slinks out, tail between legs
To await another day
Leaving the intruder to teach the enthralled masses.

They all wonder:
“Where did he learn to speak like that?
This workman with calloused hands and patched robes
Unschooled like us.

Truth to power
Maybe we can do the same.”

Yes, maybe we can do the same!

Published by

Mike Rivage-Seul's Blog

Emeritus professor of Peace & Social Justice Studies. Liberation theologian. Activist. Former R.C. priest. Married for 45 years. Three grown children. Six grandchildren.

5 thoughts on “The Unschooled Prophet Shouts Down the Learned Rabbi (a one-minute Sunday reflection)”

  1. The basic truths of our situation are crushingly simple; they don’t require a college or priestly education to discern them. A child is better able to see the simple truth of things, because she is less conditioned and confused by the errors of her culture. The priests that Jesus confronted were blinded by all the false theology they had imbibed – they had eyes, but could not see, ears but couldn’t hear.

    Meditation is about finding a place within oneself that is empty of conditioning, and hence free to see a new world, to hear a new truth……


  2. “Where did he learn to speak like that?”
    Good question. I think Jesus must have had a mentor in nearby Sepphoris. Jesus was from a poor family. He and his father probably did construction work in Sepphoris. Perhaps some scholar discovered his potential.


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