Lord, help me to listen attentively to Your Word
4th Week in Ordinary Time (Year A) : Sunday 28th January 2024
Deut. 18:15-20; Ps. 94;1-2,6-9;
1 Cor. 7:32-35; Mk. 1:21-28 (Ps. Wk. IV)
The Gospel passage describes the scene in the synagogue where Jesus is invited to teach. Later, He encounters and expels an “unclean spirit” which had possessed a man. Those present were astonished by Jesus’ authoritative teaching and the effortless manner by which He exorcised the “unclean spirit”.
Expressions of astonishment at the words and works of Jesus draws attention to the manifestation of His true nature. In both instances, the divine authority of Jesus as God’s own Son is demonstrated. He not only speaks with authority; He also acts with authority. This authority is recognised by the people in the synagogue.
That Jesus speaks with prophetic authority is seen by them as very different from the traditionalism of the scribes. The spirit of the Gospel, the Good News of God, preached by Him stands out firmly against the scribes’ spirit of legalism. That Jesus expels an “unclean spirit” reveals that Jesus is “the holy One of God.” For the Jews of the first century, “unclean spirits” and “demons” represented evil, mysterious powers that were hostile to God, health and goodness. In reading this Gospel passage, the early Christians could be confident in their Lord as teacher and healer.
The coming of Jesus brings to fulfillment the words of the Lord spoken by Moses to the people of Israel: “I will raise up a prophet like yourself for them from their own brothers; I will put my words into His mouth and He shall tell them all that I command Him.” Jesus came as the incarnate Word of God, not with hostility but revered authority.
Lord, help me to listen attentively to Your Word.