Meditation for the 4thSunday in Ordinary Time, Year B
(Deut 18:15-20; 1 Cor 7:32-35; Mk 1-21-28)
We are easily swayed by the loudest voices! The popular and trending ideas are usually those that dominate the airwave. In our society today, even in the church, you only need to be bold and loud to have your way, and aggressively sell your point. Oftentimes, those who fly on these wings have less truth in their content. So, evil and negativity often push their way to dominate the narratives. Think about the loudest voices we hear today about human relationships, family, wealth, politics, etc. The silent and powerful voice of TRUTH is the only nightmare these ‘noises’ do not want around them.
Therefore, we need the true prophet, who cannot be taken over by the loud voice of lies and deceit, and who in turn will declare the word of God. A prophet speaks the truth. He is aware of himself as chosen by God to do so. He speaks with his words and actions, such that his life stands out to silence the loud voice of deceit. In the first reading, God promised to raise a prophet for His people.
The prophetic gift of God, which is fulfilled in Christ Jesus (Mt 5:17), is given to the faithful through baptism (CCC 904-907). This participation in Christ’s prophetic office can be fulfilled through evangelization and the testimony of a holy life. In this way, the light of truth will continue to dispel the darkness of negativity and deceit. Thus, there is no need for us to be anxious or afraid; what is required of us is to make ourselves available for the grace of our baptism to flow! Hence, the second reading emphasizes our undivided devotion to the Lord, which we are called to do through our different states of life: the married, through the obligations of their marriage, and the single, through their undivided commitment to the affairs of the Lord.
In the Gospel, the teaching of Jesus impressed the people, “For He taught them as one who had authority, and not as the scribes.” The teaching of the scribes was like a reported speech. But Jesus ‘owned’ the word; the authority of the word of God is in Him. Imagine the great influence of Jesus, and how the people were caught up in His mighty power! Before this could sink in their hearts, the evil spirit in the possessed man began to cry out. He tried to distract them, and divert attention to himself by positioning himself as one who ‘knows’ Jesus, and who, therefore, would have to ‘approve’ Him for the people. Notice that the evil spirit yielded like the spokesman for the good of the people. Evil and negativity, with all their noise, always seek attention and dominate the ‘narrative.’
“But Jesus rebuked him, saying, ‘Be silent, and come out of him!’” And all the noise disappeared. The cool breeze of truth spread across. After this, the people were more amazed at the authority of Jesus. Thus, if we make ourselves available to Jesus, and maintain our undivided devotion to Him, every mountain of deceit before us will crumble; the empty noise of negativity and evil shall be silenced. Amen.
Fr Jude Chinwenwa Nwachukwu, C.Ss.R
Saints Peter & Paul Catholic Church,
Sunday January 31st, 2021.