Fourth Sunday In Ordinary Time
Today’s Reflection: "The people were astonished at his teaching." Too often we come to this holy place and the words that are proclaimed simply wash over us. When was the last time we were “astonished at his teaching? Like the man with an unclean spirit we can have too many “spirits” that distract us, making us less receptive to the word of God. Let us ask the Lord to drive form us any distractions that prevent us from knowing the true power of the word of God.
Name one thing that distracts you during the proclamation of the readings at Mass. Is there a way that you can overcome that distraction?
Next Sunday’s Reading – February 8, 2009
Job 7:1-4, 6-7 1 Corinthians 9:16-19, 22-23 Mark 1:29-39
Job 7:1-4, 6-7 The Hebrews of Job’s time recognize his position and lifestyle as patriarch of a family clan. When he loses all, in spite of his religious fidelity, he asks God, “Why me?” His friends question his allegiance to God and the wisdom of such a question. He asks because his adversity challenges everything he knows and expects from his station in life. Despite his faithfulness to God, his situation shakes his confidence. Job comments on the brevity of life but does not understand God’s timing. He believes God will show his faithfulness and generosity in His own time.
We, like Job, cannot answer the question, “Why me?” We must accept that only God will provide the answer, in His own time and in ways we may not expect. God is faithful.
During times of hardship, what has helped you return to God or remain faithful, like Job?
1 Corinthians 9:16-19, 22-23 Paul defends his rights as an apostle. He sees the institution of hospitality as an impediment to evangelization. (In his times focus is on the host or the status of the guest.) The focus should be on Christ, so he chooses to support himself as a tent-maker. He believes his audience should value his message and respect him who preaches “without cost.”
The “apostles” who dedicate their lives to ministry need food, shelter, and money to continue the effort. They are worth the cost. We tell others the Good News even as we may enjoy its benefits. We should remember the Good News is a freely given gift from God.
How have you shown others the Good News?
Mark 1:29-39 Jesus has come with one duty: to announce God’s Kingdom. Jesus’ word can heal and free people from demons as He proclaims the Good News. His Word has the power to make people whole, return them to their place in family and society, and reconcile them to God. Spreading the Word is the reason for his ministry.
His Word not only heals people but also returns them to their proper place in society. They return to a proper place before God, the essence of the Good News. That is the reason for his death and the power of his resurrection. Our challenge is to get right with the Lord and to pass that message on to others through our words and healing deeds.
Ponder on how illness or hardships can be a means of evangelization and growth toward a closer relationship with God?
www.word-sunday.com -Larry Broding, 1999 - 2009 World Library Publications, Jerry Gal peau, NOV 2008-FEB 2009