Vol: 42, No.13 4TH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME ( B) February 01 2015  
 
LITURGY AND LIFE

All the three readings of today emphasize the power and authority of the word. Through the story of exorcism, Mark presents Jesus as teaching with authority and acting with power. A demoniac identifies Jesus not only by name but also with attributes as ‘the Holy One of God.’ Jesus is not overwhelmed by this address. He rather asks the spirit to be silent and come out, because, to name someone is to have power over that person. The ability of the evil spirit to name Jesus was an attempt to overpower Him. A possessed man is one who has no authority over his own body or spirit. He is not in charge of his own life. Such a man is trying to show his authority over Jesus. But the command, ‘be quiet,’ and ‘come out of him’ authenticates the power of Jesus over the evil spirits. Jesus is not citing the power of someone else, but His own authority saying, ‘I command you.’ In His command, there is power, there is reason and there is logic to convince. By casting out the evil spirit, He destroys the power of Satan over His people. Jesus’ teaching is seen in action. For St. Mark, the miracles were only one aspect of his teaching. The exorcism follows merely as an illustration of the power of Jesus’ teaching with authority. Therefore, St. Mark records the reaction of the people as, ‘they were astonished at His authoritative teaching.’ At Jesus’ words heaven breaks in and hell is destroyed. His word is deed.
In the first reading, we hear God saying that He will raise up a prophet and He will put His words into the mouth of the Prophet. Thus, the prophet will deliver the Word of God by becoming the mouth-piece of God. In the second reading, we see Paul speaking of two states of life: Married and celibate life. Celibacy is a call to a life of less distracted devotion to the service of the Lord. The goal of the celibate is to please the Lord.

 
There is a need for men and women who dedicate themselves full time and wholeheartedly to the coming of the kingdom. And this brings us to the missionary and apostolic dimension of celibacy and virginity. The proclamation of the gospel and the missionary work have largely been on their shoulders.
Jesus did not use any material thing to cure the possessed man; rather He used words. They worked as a liberating force, bringing soundness of mind and body for the demon possessed. Our words should not be empty words. It should have power. As seeds contain life, so too our words of proclamation should produce fruits when delivered. There can be transformation when words are used appropriately. A word of compassion can help a person find a companion in suffering; a word of appreciation can bring about encouragement; a word of comfort can shun loneliness, a word of forgiveness can bring about liberation. Jesus’ words carry power.
The human person is occupied by various types of evil spirits: jealousy, pride, anger, grudge, partiality, revenge, laziness and many others. To expel these from our hearts, we still need the powerful and authentic words of Jesus. These words are made available to us in different forms. 1). In the Bible, where the word of God comes alive to us. 2). Through the prophets of our time, namely, our parents, elders, teachers, authorities who can stand up and speak out when we nurture evil inclinations and 3). Through the Celibates who have the greater responsibility to bring us to God by speaking to us the powerful word of God.
We are called to liberate people from all evil powers, which alienate and destroy them. Like Jesus, we have to destroy evil in order to save our people from self-destruction or destruction of goodness in our society.
– Sr (Dr) Virginia Rajakumari SAB
February 2015 READINGS OF THE WEEK Psalter Week 4
02 Mon (W) PRESENTATION OF THE LORD, Feast, Mal 3:1-4/ Ps 24:7-10/ Heb 2:14-18/ Lk 2:22-40
03 Tue G) St Blaise, Heb 12:1-4/ Ps 22:26-28,30-32/ Mk 5:21-43
04 Wed (R) St John Britto, Feast, 1 Cor 9:19-27/ Ps 67:1-7/ Jn 12:20-32
05 Thu

(R)

St Agatha, Heb 12:18-19,21-24/ Ps 48:2-4,9,10-11/ Mk 6:7-13
06 Fri (R) St Gonsalo Garcia, Feast, & Sts Paul Miki & Companions, 2 Cor 6:4-10/
Ps 30:2-4,17,25/ Jn 12:24-26
07 Sat (G) Heb 13:15-17,20-21/ Ps 23:1-6/ Mk 6:30-34
Forthcoming Issues
2015-02-02
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