for Sunday, January 28, 2018
God's authority in our daily lives is important. Who speaks for God? Do we want to listen to God? Are we interested at all in finding the meaning of life outside of ourselves? The challenges of the readings today keep pointing us outside of ourselves and toward a divine authority who wants to communicate with us but who will never force Himself upon us.
The first reading today, from the Book of Deuteronomy, is really strong. God's people have told God Himself that they do not want to hear His voice directly! So God tells them that they will hear him now only through prophets. But real prophets, not the fake ones.
We may think that there is something odd in not wanting to hear God, but so often we ourselves do not want to hear God in His Word, in His Scriptures and in His Church. Yet at times, if a really strong and charismatic personality comes and is able to preach the Word of God, there are times when we listen. We are no different from the people of the time of Moses! We need prophets when we don't listen to God. We need also to listen to God's words about false prophets - for they will die!
The second reading is from the First Letter to the Corinthians. We are told that the unmarried person is able to be more concerned to listen to the Lord and to seek the Lord's will. This does not mean such an unmarried person is better than a married person or even that such an unmarried person will actually be more concerned about the things of the Lord. Our holiness and our value before the Lord is in doing the Lord's will and surely many married people are more concerned about the Lord than some unmarried. On the other hand, it is clear that an unmarried person who truly seeks the Lord is able to be more concerned solely about the things of the Lord because of the lack of spouse and children. The point, however, is always the same: listen to the Lord!
The Gospel brings us back again to this them of listening to the Lord. The people in the Gospel are totally amazed at Jesus and his power over unclean spirits. They could see that Jesus spoke as a person having authority on His own. But did the people of the Gospel follow the Lord? Not always! Even when the Word of God is right in front of us, we are still able to resist. God has given us this freedom to choose and so often we choose against God and thus also against ourselves.
Let us pay attention today to the many ways that God comes into our lives. Let us seek to be faithful to the voice of the Lord as it comes to us in Scripture and in the Church. Let us pay attention to the things of God and rejoice when God sends us the strength to be faithful.
Readings of the day:
First Reading: Deuteronomy 18.15-20
Second Reading: 1 Corinthians 7.17, 32-35
Gospel: Mark 1.21-28
Reflections are available for the following Sundays: