Daily Reflection
December 13th, 1999
Chas Kestermeier, S.J.
Department of Modern Languages & Literatures
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Numbers 24:2-7, 15-17
Psalms 25:4-9
Matthew 21:23-27

Some people in the Bible are willing to proclaim the word of God, and among them we find not only Samuel (I Samuel 3), Isaiah (Isaiah 6), and Christ's disciples, but also the false prophets of the books of Samuel and the Pharisees.  And then there are those who resist speaking God's word for various reasons: think of Moses (Exodus 4), Jeremiah (Jeremiah 4), and Paul.  But few were as out and out stubborn as Jonah and Balaam.

We know the story of Jonah fairly well, even though we only think of one thing when his name is mentioned.  If you get the chance you might spend 15 minutes to read it over and see how God worked with and through this difficult character.  And you might spend another 15 minutes reading the full story of Balaam, the reluctant Gentile who claimed to "hear what God says and know what the Most High knows."  Israel's enemies hired him to curse Israel, and yet he could not help but bless it, speaking that powerful word whose effect was inevitable (cf. Numbers 24).

Those biblical characters who pushed themselves forward to speak God's word never actually represented God but spoke instead from the poverty of their own hearts and were primarily interested in self-advancement.  Those whom God himself called to speak for him were rarely happy about it because they often had to say unpleasant things to people who didn't want to hear them, didn't want to understand those words and be changed by them.

     So where do we personally stand as prophets as Christ continues his ageless
        coming into the world? 
    Do we push ourselves forward as self-appointed revealers of God's will? 
        or do we flee from speaking God's word? 
    Where do we seek only God in all of this? 
        and what do we need to do to be more transparent to God's message to the 

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