FOURTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME

January 28, 2018

Deuteronomy 18:15-20

 

Moses said: “The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among your own people; you shall heed such a prophet. This is what you requested of the Lord your God at Horeb on the day of the assembly when you said: “If I hear the voice of the Lord my God any more, or ever again see this great fire, I will die.” Then the Lord replied to me: “They are right in what they have said. I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their own people; I will put my words in the mouth of the prophet, who shall speak to them everything that I command. Anyone who does not heed the words that the prophet shall speak in my name, I myself will hold accountable. But any prophet who speaks in the name of other gods, or who presumes to speak in my name a word that I have not commanded the prophet to speak—that prophet shall die.”

 

Psalm 95:1-2, 6-9

 

O come, let us sing to the Lord;
    

let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation!

Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving;
    

let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise!

O come, let us worship and bow down,
    

let us kneel before the Lord, our Maker!

For he is our God,
    

and we are the people of his pasture,
    

and the sheep of his hand.

O that today you would listen to his voice!

Do not harden your hearts, as at Meribah,
    

as on the day at Massah in the wilderness,

when your ancestors tested me,
    

and put me to the proof,

though they had seen my work.

 

1 Corinthians 7:32-35

 

 

I want you to be free from anxieties. The unmarried man is anxious about the affairs of the Lord, how to please the Lord; but the married man is anxious about the affairs of the world, how to please his wife, and his interests are divided. And the unmarried woman and the virgin are anxious about the affairs of the Lord, so that they may be holy in body and spirit; but the married woman is anxious about the affairs of the world, how to please her husband. I say this for your own benefit, not to put any restraint upon you, but to promote good order and unhindered devotion to the Lord.

 

Mark 1:21-28

 

They went to Capernaum; and when the sabbath came, he entered the synagogue and taught. They were astounded at his teaching, for he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes. Just then there was in their synagogue a man with an unclean spirit, and he cried out, “What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are, the Holy One of God.” But Jesus rebuked him, saying, “Be silent, and come out of him!” And the unclean spirit, convulsing him and crying with a loud voice, came out of him. They were all amazed, and they kept on asking one another, “What is this? A new teaching—with authority! He commands even the unclean spirits, and they obey him.” At once his fame began to spread throughout the surrounding region of Galilee.

(NRSVCE)

Meditation

 

Yesterday we read about the Lord taking authority over the wind and the waves in nature and today we see Jesus showing His authority over the demonic realm.

 

While it is natural for us to be astonished by this power, Jesus expects us to have faith to do things the same way he did. But how often we prefer to sit back and rely on the natural realm we are accustomed to: the rational brain, the worldly mindset, and the emotions.

 

In the reading in Deuteronomy, we read that the Lord gives a very serious duty to those prophets who speak in his name.  He also commands the ultimate penalty to those who presume to speak in his name when he has not given them the Word to speak.  Yet today, Christians feel comfortable following their own voice or the voice of the world without praying and trying to hear from the Lord and waiting for direction. In fact, if someone says that they are acting in God’s service according to what they have heard from the Lord, they can expect to be looked at with skepticism.

 

Whatever our concerns are, the Lord is telling us how we can escape anxiety about our lives and that is to listen to Him and look to Him. Those who follow him, his sheep, listen to his voice. His children act in obedience to what they have heard through the power of the Holy Spirit. If we do establish this discipline in our lives, we will be able to calm the storms and drive away evil. We will find our freedom in trusting in the voice of God who desires to give good things to us.

 

Prayer: Heavenly Father, I desire to hear your voice and obey you rather than the passions and desires of my own heart which lead me astray. Help me to spend time in quiet prayer and in listening. May your Holy Spirit quicken me as you lead me in all things. As I grow in faith and in seeing that you are always with me, increase my trust in you and make me a witness to your love. Amen

 

 

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