4th Sunday in Ordinary Time – 2018

4B18.   Deuteronomy 18:15-20.   “Moses spoke, “A prophet like me will the Lord, your God, raise up; to him shall you listen.”  “And the Lord said to me, ’I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their kin and will put my words into his mouth.” Perhaps these words were referring to someone else closer to the time of Moses but we interpret them to eventually refer to Jesus.

Mark 1:21-28.  “The people were astonished at his teaching, for ‘Jesus’ taught them as one having authority and not as the scribes.”  The scribes taught by quoting the Scriptures or the great teachers, in other words, they had no authority in themselves.  Jesus, however, taught with authority because he was the Messiah.  As God said in our first reading, I “will put my words into his mouth.”  God spoke through him and in him.  Not only did he speak with the power to pronounce the truth  from him as its very source without referring to any other but also to command the unclean sprits to obey him.  “All were amazed” and “astonished at his teaching.”  As the second reading said last week, get beyond “the world in its present form.”  There is something far greater now here. Recognize in Jesus something utterly unique and remarkable that God is doing.

1 Corinthians 7:32-35.   It is not a question of our choosing to be married or unmarried but of discerning what is God’s will or calling for us.  In any case, Paul calls us not to be so busy and lost in the things of this world that we are so distracted that we forget what is most important, to please the Lord first and foremost.  Let us accomplish the things of this world that are assigned to us by the will of the Lord yet always maintaining an adherence to the Lord without distraction.  We live in the smallness of the present but with a focus always on the God who desires for us the greatness of his eternity.