FOURTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME

 

FOURTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME

Jesus_The_Good_Shepherd_Byzantine_IconMy sisters and brothers in Christ,
The connection between the first reading today and the Gospel is so very strong. Moses, in the first reading, from the Book of Deuteronomy, tells the people that God Himself will raise up a prophet for them, one who is their own relative and one to whom they should listen. We who follow Jesus come to recognize that He, Jesus, is the fulfillment of this prophecy–and even more than we could have imagined. He is our relative, a human like us in all things except sin. He shares our humanity with us and speaks to us about God. The challenge–and this also comes from Deuteronomy, is to listen to Him and to follow His words. The Gospel of Mark today tells us about Jesus in the synagogue at Capernaum. Jesus teaches as one having authority and the
people recognize that immediately. Even more, Jesus commands unclean spirits and they obey Him. This scares the people and they are no longer certain that Jesus comes from God. They have
become accustomed to a safe practice of their faith and the actions of Jesus begin to challenge their sense of security. Jesus challenges us! Faith in
God is not about being secure. Faith in God is about having a living relationship with God, a personal relationship–and because of that relationship, doing the will of God in every aspect of our life. Far too often we hope that if we just do the right things, we can somehow achieve salvation. We need to become acutely aware of the difference between performing actions to appease God and acting out of a deep, personal relationship with the living God.

Father Jesus