IV Sunday in Ordinary Time

IV Sunday in Ordinary Time

Mar, 26 Gen 21 Lectio Divina - Anno B

1st Reading Deuteronomy 18:15-20

Responsorial Psalm Psalms 95:1-2, 6-7, 7-9

2nd Reading 1 Corinthians 7:32-35

Alleluia Matthew 4:16

Gospel Mark 1:21-28

DEUTERONOMY 18, 15-20 

The first reading is taken from Deuteronomy, the last book of the Pentateuch. Moses is the first great prophet; he speaks in the name of another. When the people of God become numerous Moses foretells the coming of a prophet to whom he says " you will listen". In Exodus it is said that Moses saw God "face to face" God has no face, but Moses entered into an intimate relationship with God, he spoke as one talk to his friend. Faced with an absolute it seems that our life no longer makes sense, but if we think that it is God who created things and makes them subsist, God enters our history. The reality of God is within the web of life. As blood circulates in the arteries, the prophetic word of the Lord circulates in the web of life. And then let's not hide behind the excuse: I wanted to, but life, work, family, prevent me; I want so much, but I don't have time, I can't, I don't know how to be a prophet! We need to stop and listen. To give importance to finding the meaning of what we do and to have the ear of the heart attentive to the brother/sister with clear ideas that is within us! 

1Corinthians 7: 32-35

The second reading, taken from Paul's first letter to the Corinthians, reminds us that fidelity is always a gift and must be constantly asked of the Lord. Paul announces that one can serve the Lord in any life situation, as long as one surrenders completely to him. Those who dedicate themselves completely to the Lord remain faithful, because they are concerned with the things of God, while those who are married are concerned with the things of the world, that is, how they can please the husband and wife, but in both cases one can serve the Lord, provided that remain faithful to him without detours.

Gospel Mk. 1: 21-28 

After the account of the vocation of the first four disciples (cf. Mk 1: 16-20), Mark emphasizes that Jesus is no longer alone. Now there is a small community following this rabbi who came to Galilee from the shores of the Dead Sea following the arrest of his teacher and prophet John the Baptist, and this small community will grow and accompany Jesus, involved in his life to the end. 

The evangelist therefore presents us with a typical day lived by Jesus and his disciples: the "day at Capernaum" (cf. Mk 1: 21-34), a city located north of the Sea of ​​Galilee, a place of passage between Palestine , Lebanon and Assyria, city with composite people, chosen by Jesus as "residence", as the place where he and his community had a home (cf. Mk 1: 29.35) where they stopped from time to time, in the breaks of their itineraries in Galilee and in Judea. How did Jesus live a day? He preached and taught, he met people, freeing them from evil and healing them, he prayed. Then there was certainly a time and a space to eat with his family, to be with his community and to teach it how it was necessary to live in order to welcome the coming kingdom of God.

Here then is that the Gospel tells us about this day of Jesus. It is a Saturday, the Lord's day, in which the Jew lives the commandment to sanctify the seventh day (cf. Ex 20: 8-11; Dt 5:12-15) and goes to the synagogue for worship. Jesus and his disciples also go to the synagogue of Capernaum where, after reading a passage from the Torah of Moses and a passage from the Prophets, an adult man could speak and comment on what had been proclaimed. Jesus is a simple believer of the people of Israel, he is a layman, not a priest, and he exercises this right. He goes to the ambo and gives a homily, but Mark does not tell us the content, unlike what Luke does regarding the homily given by Jesus in the synagogue of Nazareth (cf. Lk 4: 16-21).

Jesus shows that he has an unprecedented, rare “authority”. His is not a word like that of religious professionals, of the many scribes charged with studying and explaining the Holy Scriptures. What is different about his preaching? We can at least say that there is a word that comes from his depths, a word that seems to come from a lived silence, a word spoken with conviction and passion, a word spoken by one who not only believes in what he says, but lives it. Above all, it is the coherence experienced by Jesus between thinking, saying and living that gives him this authority that imposes itself and is performative. Jesus does not mention any authority, but speaks from his experience of God and his life. His word has its roots in the heart. Attention: Jesus is not one who seduces with his elegant, erudite, literally chiseled word, rich in cultural references; he does not belong to the ranks of preachers who seduce everyone without ever converting anyone. Instead, he knows how to go to the heart of each of his listeners, who are urged to think that he is "a new teaching", at the same time-wise and prophetic, which shakes, "hurts", convinces.

You came to destroy us! In Mark, the first miracle is the expulsion of a demon. Jesus fights and expels the power of evil that takes possession of people and alienated them from themselves. The man possessed by the devil shouts: "I know who you are: you are the Holy One of God!" The man repeated the official teaching that presented the Messiah as "Holy of God", that is, as a High Priest, or as king, judge, doctor or general.

“The spirit shook the man, let out a cry and came out of him. Jesus restores people their dignity. Returns conscience and freedom. He makes the person recover his perfect judgment (cf. Mk 5:15). It was not easy then, it was not yesterday, it is not easy today to make a person start thinking and acting differently from the official ideology. 

 New teaching! He even commands the unclean spirits. The first two signs of the Good News are these: his different way of teaching the things of God, and his power over impure spirits. Jesus opens a new path for people to reach purity. At that time, a person declared unclean could not stand before God to pray and to receive the blessing promised by God to Abraham. He had to purify himself first. These and many other laws and norms made people's lives difficult and marginalized many people who were considered impure, far from God. Now, purified by contact with Jesus, people could present themselves before God. It was great Good News for them!

If we want to talk seriously about Christ to the men and women of our time, we must feel that Christ is still at work to ruin all our forms of mediocrity and connivance with the system. Jesus must enter within us as a leaven that lifts us from inertia, like a wing blow that pulls us out of our holes, like a thorn in the flesh, like an effort that does not leave me calm in the face of the pain and expectations of the true life of others.

Almighty Father and merciful God, silence the powers of evil that are stirring in the world and give us a heart that is attentive and ready to listen to the voice of Jesus, your Son and our brother and Lord.