Thursday, January 29, 2015

The Sunday Word

Time to take a look at the Word of the Lord for the Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time. 

The first reading for this Sunday is from Deuteronomy and finds the Israelites begging Moses for a prophet and the Lord responding favorably. There's a stern warning for the prophet, however, lest the prophet speak in the Lord's name anything the Lord had not given him to speak. This becomes background for Sunday's Gospel where Jesus, hailed as a prophet, exorcises a man with an unclean spirit.

In the day's second reading, St. Paul writes the Corinthians that he wants them to be free from anxieties. Who wouldn't want to be free from anxieties? Paul addresses some anxieties shared by spouses. What he says may sound strange until you recall that he was writing expecting Christ to return in glory at any moment.

Both the first reading and the Gospel raise questions about whom we listen to and whom we trust. Remembering that the prophet is one who teaches and heals with the authority of God:

• To whose prophetic word do we listen?
• What anxieties come between us and our faith in the Lord?
• From what "unclean spirits" might we want Jesus to free us?

Serious questions to ponder...