14th Sunday in Ordinary Time - Year B
A THORN OF FLESH WAS GIVEN ME
There are sections in Paul’s letters in which he seems to be boasting of his accomplishments. The true braggarts were a group of conservatives who were hounding him during his missionary tours. Paul mimics their braggadocio to illustrate the shallowness of their claims. Lest anyone think that he is truly conceited, he adds a self-mocking reference to a “thorn of flesh” that afflicted him. No one knows the nature of this pain, but there have been suggestions that Paul suffered from Malaria. He may have contracted this disease in the swamps of south Turkey.
A Prophet Has Been Among Them
Many people wrongly believe that the job of a prophet is to predict the future. Actually, prophets only occasionally make predictions, some never predicted anything. The word that is usually translated "prophet" is the Hebrew word "nabi" which means "one who sees." In the biblical sense "seeing" means understanding, as in "Oh, I see!" Prophets are simply deeply sensitive people with a strong faith. They can "see" a connection between what is going on around them and the ideas of God. We might call them interpreters of God's sign language.
© 2000 by Father Richard Lonsdale. You may freely copy this document. It may be freely reproduced in any non-profit publication.Thie clipart and commentatires above were originally on a web site maintained by Fr. Lonsdale. To copy the clipart images, click with your right mouse button and use "save picture (or image) as…"To view a complete list of clipart images and commentaries: Lonsdale Commentaries and Clipart