The prophets in the Old Testament had to preach very difficult messages to hostile audiences. They were persecuted. Some were even killed (see Isaiah). The Prophet Ezekiel was no different. Preaching to the Jews in Babylon, for he had been among the group deported by Nebuchadnezzar, he was not well-received. He had told his fellow countrymen that they had sinned and deserved this punishment. He prophesied also that this captivity would not be short, but would last seventy years.
God encouraged Ezekiel to preach this message. It was the truth, and though the Jews would not like it, God says, Ezekiel has an obligation to preach the truth. The prophet is not out to win a popularity contest. God tells Ezekiel he must be detached from the people's perception of him. If he speaks honestly and acts with integrity, though he may be rejected, he will have done well. This is what God at last says to Ezekiel: "And whether they heed or resist—for they are a rebellious house—they shall know that a prophet has been among them" (Ez 2:5).
Like Ezekiel, Catholics are not out to win popularity contests. We are called to preach the truth. Parents are called to preach the truth to their children; to hold them accountable to the right way of living. Workers who might be in an immoral situation at work are called to stay steadfast to what is right. It is like what Mark Twain once said, "Always do what is right. It will please some people and astonish the rest."
Redemption came for the prophets. It will come for us who remain loyal to what is right. And the people around us will know that a Catholic has been among them.