As Jesus began his ministry, He attracted a lot of attention by His miraculous works, and His profound teaching. People recognized the authority with which He spoke, and recognized it as divine, as distinct from that of their own teachers. The evil spirits He dispelled knew who He was, and announced it. In His role as prophet, Jesus came to announce and to denounce.
Jesus came to announce the kingdom of God. He announced to the people a God of love, the God of the covenant who was once again extended to them for their salvation. He preached the truth, faithful to the Father’s will. This was the Good News that the people longed to hear, as long as He spoke about love and forgiveness in His parables and teaching. This encouraged them and many opened their ears, hearts and minds to follow Him.
However, faithful to His mission, Jesus also denounced. He also had to speak the truth which people did not want to hear. He denounced their unfaithfulness and fickleness before God. He challenged them, especially their spiritual leaders, to leave behind their erroneous ways and follow Him. Many of them did not want to hear this, did not want to change, and so they hardened their hearts as the Psalmist (Psalm 95) proclaims.
In our Baptism we were anointed priest, prophet and king. Jesus calls us this Sunday to share in his prophetic ministry, in a prophetic Church, which announces and denounces, to bring all to conversion, and to the kingdom of God, celebrating God’s truth and unconditional love.