Homily February 1, 2015 4th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Posted in Called, christian, Christianity, homily, inspirational, religion, scripture, Word by Fr Joe R on January 28, 2015

4sun ord2Today Jesus enters Capernaum and goes to the Synagogue. When he stands up to teach, he is very different from the men who usually rise to speak. His comportment is different, he has a commanding presence and he speaks with authority. Some kind of diabolical spirit or spirits recognize and challenge him and he drives them away by telling them to leave a possessed man. 4sun ord3The people are stunned and of course talkative and spread what they have seen. You might think we pass information and gossip on quickly today, but ancient times had their network of gossip too. Thus the beginning of Jesus’ notoriety began and drawing crowds started to be a common thing. Jesus spoke not as if he was interpreting or repeating past writings but as an authority who spoke on his own part. To many, this could be unsettling as it changed their perception and understanding. Jesus was different, yet he was faithful to their religion and traditions.

In a way, they had lost sight of the fact that God was a living person, not a static set of rules or laws. What was written or passed down was meant to serve the living out of faith and love in God. Even today we lose sight and forget that the spirit works within us to bring about the best response possible. Each and every person is different as is so many times the issue and concern before us. The Spirit acts in us to assist our sensitivity to the love of God and answering that love as best possible at that time. What we can never forget is that there is only one judge of a person’s soul and life. This authority and understanding somehow shown through Jesus the man before the people listening to him. 4sun ord1He did not speak the language of scholars but spoke in parables and stories. Even more confounding was that he was a simple man traveling with a band of followers. He sought out the poor, the ordinary people, the farmers, the fisherman, yes even the tax collectors. The rulers, the priests, the scholars he left alone. He knew and understood that they were satisfied and cut off and closed up in their self-satisfaction. Even today there is the same trap that says nothing changes or evolves especially understanding. Unfortunately, it is a part of what is a fallen nature, one that makes bad choices some times. The freedom to choose is not bad, but the failure to lovingly choose and hurt others in that failure is bad.

So, in Mark’s gospel so far we Jesus the man calling his Apostles and standing up in Capernaum and a 4sun ord4certain presence or attraction about him that draws others to him. It is a goodness that seizes our senses that even today we see some times in people who are about selfless helping of others. In our time, we are often quick to make heroes and hold them up to a passing fame. But think. Jesus’ presence has surpassed and endured the time of many generations and his presence is relevant even now. We need only turn our hearts to him.


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