January 28, 2018

4th Sun., Ordinary Time

January 28, 2018:  Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Listen
For Psalm 95
For future celebrations
Pope Francis
Homily:  Mary's presence in this temple makes it a home for us children.  We recognize the Church as home, where we find rest, consolation, protection, refuge.  Our ancestors have taught us to turn to Mary, to gather under her mantle.  Mary guards our faith, protects relationships, saves us in stormy weather, and preserves us from evil.  When she's in the home, the devil stays out.  When we pray to her, she answers promptly, just as she promptly went to Elizabeth in her time of need.
We pray that Mary free us from danger.  Because the Lord knows we need shelter and protection, from the Cross Jesus entrusted John, the beloved disciple, and his future disciples, to his mother.  Like John, we must take Mary into our homes, inviting her into our homes, hearts, and lives.  If we're neutral or detached from our mother, we'll lose our identity as children.  May we make our Mother the guest of our daily life, the constant presence in our home, our safe haven.
Angelus:  Today's gospel is inside the story described as the ‘day in Capernaum.’  When Jesus exorcises the demon, he's presented as a prophet powerful in word and in deed.  Those who witnessed the exorcism were amazed by his words; they didn't resemble what they were used to hearing.  He had a new teaching, given with authority.
Christ’s authority was in word and deed.  The few words he addressed to the man were enough to obtain victory over Satan.  His power confirms the authority of his teaching.  He manifests God's project with words and works, revealing God's love with both preaching and acts of caring and relief of the sick, the needy, children, and sinners.
Jesus is our Teacher, powerful in words and works; he communicates to us all the light that illumines our path and the strength to overcome difficulties, trials, temptations.  What a great grace to have recognized this powerful, good God!  May Mary, the woman of listening, help us to achieve silence within and around us, and so hear the authoritative word of her Son, who announces the meaning of our existence and frees us from every form of slavery.
Read
  • Dt 18:15-20  Moses:  “God will raise up a prophet like me from among your kin, as you requested at Horeb; listen to him.  God:  'If a prophet speaks in my name an oracle I didn't command him to speak, he'll die.'”
  • Ps 95:1-2, 6-9  "If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts."  Sing joyfully to the Lord, rock of our salvation.  Come with thanksgiving; bow in worship before the Lord our God who made us.  We're the flock he guides.  "Don't harden your hearts as in the desert where your fathers tested me though they'd seen my works."
  • 1 Cor 7:32-35  Be free of anxieties.  An unmarried man is anxious about how he may please the Lord, but a married man is divided, anxious about things of the world and how he may please his wife.  An unmarried woman is anxious about the things of the Lord, but a married woman is anxious about things of the world and how she may please her husband.  I tell you not to restrain you but so you may adhere to the Lord undistracted.
  • Mk 1:21-28  The Capernaum people were astonished at Jesus' teaching with authority.  Jesus rebuked a man with an unclean spirit; it convulsed him and came out.  “What?  Even unclean spirits obey him.”  His fame spread.
Reflect
  • CreightonGod promised his people he'd speak directly to one of their kin like he speaks to Moses so they may hear and understand.  They'll hear God's word in their own language and culture.  Today it seems hard to be sure of God’s will; I'd love to hear directly from God.
Even the demons listen to Jesus and obey.  He calls out and destroys the unclean spirit that recognizes Jesus, and the people are amazed.  Today it's harder to hear and understand God's voice, but not impossible. We can read it in Scripture, sense it in our conscience, and see it in creation. May we be alert and aware for God's voice around us.
  • One Bread, One Body:  "Cradle Catholics":  We must read the 2nd reading in context:  Paul believes Jesus will return soon shortly.  If "time is short," it's vital to convert "as many as possible" before Jesus returns.  Long-term endeavors like marriage and family could get in the way.  When Jesus didn't return in Paul's lifetime, the Church then realized its members needed to "make disciples" by bearing and rearing godly children.  In this context, married persons are essential to "the Lord's affairs."  Paul then realized God is so pleased by marriage that He considers it to be a reflection of his love for the Church.
  • Passionist:  The Lord makes it clear to his people that when Moses speaks God’s message, he will be blessed, but if he presumes to speak as a false prophet, he will have to answer for it.  The prophets paved the way for the coming of the Messiah, Jesus Christ.  The New Testament is filled with the accounts of Jesus’ life, death and resurrection.  Many followed the prophets' messages to become the good and holy people God created them to be.  Today we honor the prophets of our times:  some famous, others working side by side with us.  Remember and thank God for the prophets who have helped you become who you are today....
  • DailyScripture.net:  God’s word has power to set us free and transform us; when he commanded, even demons obeyed.  St. Augustine: "Faith is mighty, but without love it profits nothing.  Devils confessed Christ but lacked charity."  Faith works through love and abounds in hope.  Love orients us to God and the good of others created in his image.  Hope anchors our faith and purifies our desires.  Faith must be nourished with God's Word....
Don't look; I forgot to take a picture...
  • 'Fire' pin:  You said, "Let us not again see this great fire" (1st reading)
  • 'Hearts' suspenders:  If you hear God's voice, don't harden your hearts (psalm)
  • 'Musical notes with "joy"' tie pin:  Sing joyfully to the Lord (psalm)
  • 'Rock' tie pin:  Acclaim the rock of our salvation (psalm)
  • 'Sheep' tie bar:  We're the flock the Lord guides (psalm)
  • 'Abacus' tie pin:  A married man is divided (2nd reading)
  • "Celebrate teaching" pin:  Jesus taught in the synagogue on the sabbath (gospel)