Saturday, January 28, 2012
4TH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME – B
4TH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME – B
Dt 18:15-20 / 1 Cor 7:32-35 / Mk 1:21-28
He will raise up for you a prophet like myself from among the people,
from your brothers, to whom you shall listen. Remember that in Horeb,
on the day of the Assembly, you said: "I am afraid to die and I do not
want to hear the voice of Yahweh again or see again that great fire."
So Yahweh said to me: "They have spoken well. I shall raise up a
prophet from their midst, one of their brothers, who will be like you.
I will put my words into his mouth and he will tell them all that I
command. If someone does not listen to my words when the prophet
speaks on my behalf, I myself will call him to account for it. But any
prophet who says in my name anything that I did not command, or speaks
in the name of other gods, that prophet shall die."
1 CORINTHIANS 7:32-35
I would like you to be free from anxieties. He who is not married is
concerned about the things of the Lord and how to please the Lord.
While he who is married is taken up with the things of the world and
how to please his wife, and he is divided in his interests. Likewise,
the unmarried woman and the virgin are concerned with the service of
the Lord, to be holy in body and spirit. The married woman, instead,
worries about the things of the world and how to please her husband. I
say this for your own good. I do not wish to lay traps for you but to
lead you to a beautiful life, entirely united with the Lord.
They went into the town of Capernaum and Jesus taught in the synagogue
on the sabbath day. The people were astonished at the way he taught,
for he spoke as one having authority and not like the teachers of the
Law. It happened that a man with an evil spirit was in their
synagogue, and he shouted, "What do you want with us, Jesus of
Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are: you are the
Holy One of God." Then Jesus faced him and said with authority, "Be
silent, and come out of this man!" The evil spirit shook the man
violently and, with a loud shriek, came out of him. All the people
were astonished, and they wondered, "What is this? With what authority
he preaches! He even gives orders to evil spirits and they obey him!"
And Jesus' fame spread throughout all the country of Galilee.
Today's Gospel sparks a reflection on the teaching of Jesus which is
recognized as a "completely new teaching in a spirit of authority."
Jesus was a wonderful teacher. Not only did he teach, but – and this
is an important point of today's Gospel message – he also practiced
what he taught! He didn't teach by words only, no matter how lofty his
words may have been. He taught by his actions, by the way he lived,
and by what he did for others. We can say that his teaching "rang
true" not because of beautiful words or because of some great gift or
rhetorical oratory; it "rang true" because people could see that his
teaching was supported by his own practice and lifestyle.
The Gospel tells us that the people were spellbound and amazed when he
expelled the unclean spirit from the possessed man. "A completely new
teaching in a spirit of authority!" they exclaimed, as they saw that
the authority of Jesus was a power that the unclean spirit could not
resist. They called his "teaching" a "new" teaching because "he taught
with authority and not like their scribes." [Matthew7:29] That
authority was not because he was a "legally" appointed teacher who had
been given some mandate to teach by the religious authorities of his
day, nor had he been given an official certification to be a teacher.
His authority came from the mission that he had received from his
Father. As he himself explained after the experience of his baptism,
his mission for which he was anointed by the Spirit was "to bring glad
tidings to the poor, to proclaim liberty to captives, recovery of
sight to the blind and release to prisoners" [Luke 4:15]. His teaching
was the liberating teaching for which he was authorized by the Father
and anointed by the Spirit. Yes, it was a "spellbinding" teaching so
unlike the teaching of the scribes who were the official teachers of
When Jesus confronted the scribes about their way of teaching, he was
quite blunt and forceful. It is quite true that many of the words of
their teaching may have been the right words, according to the
development of the rabbinic traditions of the time to which the people
had become accustomed. Jesus, however, noted that "their words are
bold but their deeds are few. They bind up heavy loads, hard to carry,
to lay on other men's shoulders, while they themselves will not lift a
finger to budge them." [Matthew 23:4] – far from the liberating
teaching for which Jesus was sent and anointed. No wonder the people
were spellbound by the teaching of Jesus! And it was no wonder that
throughout his ministry, Jesus was in frequent conflict with the
scribes and other religious leaders. They, too, were spellbound by his
teachings, but not because they felt their minds or hearts positively
resonating with what Jesus was teaching. They were spellbound in a
totally negative way. They were actually "hurt to the quick" because
they could see well enough that Jesus was exposing their hypocrisy.
And in the eyes of the people, they had no defense.
Another character that was so upset, according to our Gospel reading,
was the unclean spirit that had possessed the man who had caught
Jesus' attention. With clarity of insight, the unclean spirit knew
very well who and what this Jesus was. "I know who you are – the Holy
One of God!" The unclean spirit upon seeing Jesus trembled and
shrieked: "What do you want of us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to
destroy us?" How well the demons sense that what Jesus comes to
destroy is the non-liberating power of evil.
We pray …
… for a deep and profound respect for life, especially for the
… for the speedy recovery and healing of
- Francis and Angelito
- Renan Lacida and Rowena Yap
- Chief Samrose Anyaugo
- Tung-Jou Sheh
- Cecilia Yu
- Jon Arellano
- Mylene Lingad
… for the personal intentions of
- Dr Ugonna Anyaugo, Ogechi Anyaugo,Barr Obinna Okoronkwo,Barr Mrs
Barbara Okoronkwo. Ifeanyi Anyaugo,Chuba Anyaugo,'Cordelia
Anyaugo .Kelechi Ozurumba
- Hugo, Udo ,Owen and Adanna
- Josheil Dapo
… Prayer intentions: 1st Communicants at Maninagar, Ahmedabad, India
... Birthday: Evelyn Brown
… for the eternal repose of the soul of Annalie. Eternal rest grant
unto them and may perpetual light shine upon them. May they and all
the dearly departed rest in peace.
… for all the prayer intentions in the MTQ Dailyprayer Diary.
- Birthday: Marie Antoinette R. Evidente
- In Memoriam (+): Librada M. Ong
… for families who are in need of healing
… for world peace and reconciliation.
Finally, we pray for one another, for those who have asked our prayers
and for those who need our prayers the most.
Have a good day!
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