Sunday February 1, 2015
Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 71 (NAB Readings) (Jerusalem Bible)
This week’s first reading from the book of Deuteronomy is an introduction to the concept of the prophet as a singular voice from God. There was a fear that a direct encounter with God, even just His voice, would be overwhelming enough to kill. The new idea of one man taking the responsibility was a lot less threatening.
The Lord also gives us a stern warning. For all of us who are baptized, we have been anointed to be priest, prophet, and king, and the Lord highlights the seriousness of misusing this gift. The second most difficult part is participating with the prophecies shared with us and having the courage to respond to the voice of the Lord.
Psalm 95:1-2, 6-7, 7-9
- (8) If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts.
1 Corinthians 7:32-35
This week’s second reading from St Paul’s letter to the Corinthians picks up where we left off last week. On first read or listen, it can come off as an awkward conversation about the single life. Paul is emphasizing the imminent return of our Lord when he proposes that celibacy is more fruitful in removing earthly distractions. It is often interpreted as if St Paul doesn’t believe in the value of marriage, but that is not what the Apostle is trying to teach.
Rather, St Paul clearly understands that the end is coming and the consequences of the return of the Lord require that we respond with all our hearts and converted lives that show of His Lordship in our hearts. For many of us, we do so through lifestyles that have built in elements to keep us focused on Him.
- Alleluia, alleluia.
The people who sit in darkness have seen a great light;
on those dwelling in a land overshadowed by death,
light has arisen.
This week’s Gospel from St Mark is an interesting description of the life that Jesus led in His public ministry. As a faithful Jew, Jesus often spent His time teaching other Jews and His preaching and authority were undeniable by those who heard Him speak. In this example we see that even the demons could not deny His authority and power.
When we hear the Lord, it can be very easy to dismiss Him or listen and not take action. This week’s readings try to shake us to know that the Lord is speaking to us, and we must listen and respond.
Gospel Meditation from Bishop Vásquez
Please consider using the following meditation for the Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Feb. 1):
- Today’s Gospel tells us that Jesus taught in the synagogue “as one having authority.” Can you recall a favorite catechism or religious education teacher? Say a prayer for that person and the good things they taught you.