Letting people know God loved them... and wanted their love in return
Reflections on the readings for the Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time (January 31, 2021): DT 18:15-20; PS 95:1-2,6-7,7-9; 1 COR 7:32-35; MK 1:21-28
MISSIO offers “Mission In Scripture” to nurture a missionary heart, providing reflections on the missionary themes in the readings of Sundays, Feast Days and Holy Days.
His concern for them – and for us, to love and care for others, especially those in greatest need...
We cannot know what the people of Capernaum expected when they let a young itinerant rabbi address them at their synagogue one Sabbath. Obviously, the occasion was far more than they could have expected. They were actually astounded that Jesus was so unlike the usual speakers. His words and actions that day revealed Him as a person of authority. But this was not so in the usual sense of being important or wealthy or holding a position of command. Rather, Jesus of Nazareth with His, as yet, tiny band of four disciples, had truth, wisdom and power from within. In time, His disciples would recognize this as divine authority. However, on this day, a healing that must have left the people awestruck followed His impressive teaching. A man possessed by an unclean spirit was present. And that spirit recognized who Christ was – and why He had such authority. Jesus then commanded that evil spirit to leave the man who was instantly healed. “All were amazed and asked one another, ‘What is this? A new teaching with authority. He commands even the unclean spirits and they obey Him’ His fame spread everywhere throughout the whole region of Galilee” (Mark 1:27-28).
Jesus showed throughout His ministry the desire to let people know that God loved them and wanted their love in return – love shown in caring for others. And that is what He did in saving this man who suffered from some manifestation of evil. The welfare of His people, and His concern for them – and for us, to love and care for others, especially those in greatest need – was a prime part of His message of hope and trust in God’s mercy. Let us share our loving Lord’s compassion with all who touch our lives.
Suggested missionary action: We can make an effort to develop the habit of reading a chapter or two of the Gospels each day. Or we can reread the Scripture readings for the day. And then take a few minutes to think and pray about what we have read – and to put those messages into practice in our daily lives.