4th Sunday in Ordinary Time (B)


4th. SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME (B) Mark 1:21-28 - January 28, 2018

A prophet like me will the Lord, your God, raise up for you from among your own kin, to him you shall listen“.

“You expect wise people and prudent and experienced counselors to speak with wisdom, but you do not expect ignorant or evil people to do it. The ignorant and evil might speak with power, but not with authority. When Jesus came to Capernaum on a Sabbath and entered the synagogue to teach, as it was his habit to do it, there a man with an unclean spirit, a demon, came to proclaim what nobody expected him to do. He “cried out” a truth about him, yes indeed, he gave a theological short lesson on Jesus’ identity, “You are the Holy One of God.” Then, after this proclamation and at the same place, Jesus confirmed the testimony of the possessed man. Jesus commanded him, “Quiet! Come out of him! The unclean spirit convulsed him and with a loud cry came out of him.

At the beginning of his public ministry Jesus was recognized and admired, first as a rabbi and a teacher, then he was acknowledged as a prophet who spoke in God’s voice. He fulfilled the promise of Moses which we read in today’s first reading from the Book of Deuteronomy, “A prophet like me will the Lord, your God, raise up for you from among your own kin; to him you shall listen.”

That synagogue of Capernaum was significant for Jesus and for his disciples. There he was revealed, ironically by a demon, as “The Holy One of God;” there he was known as a teacher and a prophet “All were amazed and asked one another, ’What is this? A new teaching with authority’ (…) His fame spread everywhere throughout the whole region of Galilee.” At that very same synagogue, later own, Jesus would give the teaching of the Living Bread, the promise to give his body and his blood as food and drink for his disciples.

After Jesus’ Resurrection and Ascension, his disciples continued to go to the synagogue on Saturday to hear the Scriptures, the sermon and the prayers. Then on Sunday they got together at different family homes to break the Bread. Later on the Christians combined the proclamation of the Word of God and the Eucharist as a unique act of worship of listening, sharing, and praying. And this, quite an experience of faith, is what we Christians celebrate at our Sunday Mass. We are reminded that at the celebration of the Holy Eucharist it is Christ himself who speaks to us through the Holy Bible and feed us with his Body and Blood.

Today we find in the Scripture three prophets: Moses, Paul and Jesus. Paul is very realistic as he tells us that unmarried people as well as married tend to be anxious, either to please God or their spouse. But as we try to balance our lives, we should listen carefully to Jesus, follow him and get rid of anxieties.

God promised his people through Moses that he would raise up for them a prophet. The prophets speak the “life-giving word of God” and are concerned for the spiritual welfare of the people. All of us by our baptism are called to be prophets. Through prayer, spiritual discipline and sacramental life we know that we have been chosen to speak the word of God with our lives. Not necessarily people are possessed by demons today; there are many other possessions and addictions: alcohol, drugs, pornography, food, stealing, cheating, lying, sex, gambling, corruption, power anxiety, etc. They do not allow us to listen to God.

As Jesus fulfilled Moses’ prophecy that the Lord would raise up for us a prophet to speak in his name, at our Sunday Assembly he fulfills today what he promised at the Capernaum synagogue, to give us his Body to eat and his Blood to drink.

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