Saturday, August 17, 2019

Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Today’s Audio Mass Readings – Lectionary: 71

1st Reading – DT 18:15-20

Moses spoke to all the people, saying:
“A prophet like me will the LORD, your God, raise up for you
from among your own kin;
to him you shall listen.
This is exactly what you requested of the LORD, your God, at Horeb
on the day of the assembly, when you said,
‘Let us not again hear the voice of the LORD, our God,
nor see this great fire any more, lest we die.’
And the LORD said to me, ‘This was well said.
I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their kin,
and will put my words into his mouth;
he shall tell them all that I command him.
Whoever will not listen to my words which he speaks in my name,
I myself will make him answer for it.
But if a prophet presumes to speak in my name
an oracle that I have not commanded him to speak,
or speaks in the name of other gods, he shall die.'”

Responsorial Psalm – PS 95:1-2, 6-7, 7-9

R. (8) If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts.
Come, let us sing joyfully to the LORD;
let us acclaim the rock of our salvation.
Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving;
let us joyfully sing psalms to him.
R. If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts.
Come, let us bow down in worship;
let us kneel before the LORD who made us.
For he is our God,
and we are the people he shepherds, the flock he guides.
R. If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts.
Oh, that today you would hear his voice:
“Harden not your hearts as at Meribah,
as in the day of Massah in the desert,
Where your fathers tempted me;
they tested me though they had seen my works.”
R. If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts.

2nd Reading – 1 COR 7:32-35

Brothers and sisters:
I should like you to be free of anxieties.
An unmarried man is anxious about the things of the Lord,
how he may please the Lord.
But a married man is anxious about the things of the world,
how he may please his wife, and he is divided.
An unmarried woman or a virgin is anxious about the things of the Lord,
so that she may be holy in both body and spirit.
A married woman, on the other hand,
is anxious about the things of the world,
how she may please her husband.
I am telling you this for your own benefit,
not to impose a restraint upon you,
but for the sake of propriety
and adherence to the Lord without distraction.

Alleluia – MT 4:16

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
The people who sit in darkness have seen a great light;
on those dwelling in a land overshadowed by death,
light has arisen.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – MK 1:21-28

Then they came to Capernaum,
and on the sabbath Jesus entered the synagogue and taught.
The people were astonished at his teaching,
for he taught them as one having authority and not as the scribes.
In their synagogue was a man with an unclean spirit;
he cried out, “What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth?
Have you come to destroy us?
I know who you are—the Holy One of God!”
Jesus rebuked him and said,
“Quiet! Come out of him!”
The unclean spirit convulsed him and with a loud cry came out of him.
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.

Catholic Daily Reflections

Jesus Rebukes the Unclean Spirit

Saint Thomas Aquinas, Priest and Doctor – Memorial

Jesus rebuked him and said, “Quiet! Come out of him!” The unclean spirit convulsed him and with a loud cry came out of him. Mark 1:25-26

This passage from Mark’s Gospel could be the scene from a horror movie. Well, at least if Hollywood were producing the film. In truth, it’s the scene of an act of great love and mercy and reveals the power and authority of Jesus!

It’s the story of a man with an unclean spirit, a demon. The demon is tormenting him. So, Jesus looks at him with great love and compassion and expels the evil spirit, setting him free. This truly is an act of love.

But one question this clearly brings up is the role of the evil spirits in our world and their ability to control, manipulate, or at least tempt us. They are powerful spiritual beings created by God with free will and they exercised that free will to turn away from God. One of their primary duties, granted them at the moment of their creation, was to care for humanity. Those spirits who fell from grace by their pride and sin still retain their natural spiritual power. But because of their fall, they now only have hatred for mankind and seek to destroy us. This is real. And this is something we should be keenly aware of.

But there is no reason to lose hope or to give in to fear. These beings are, of course, ultimately subject to the power and authority of God. They can do nothing without God permitting it and, in the end, they can have no power over our lives.

But for now we need to be aware of their natural spiritual power and influence. We need to understand that they can and will try to wreak havoc in our lives. When we let fear weaken our faith, and lack trust in God’s almighty power, we slowly allow them to have more influence over us. But when we allow the grace and mercy of God to overshadow their evil influence, we hear Jesus rebuke them and order them to cease.

Reflect, today, upon the fact that the spiritual battle is a real one. However, the victory is assured if we only humble ourselves before God and trust in His power and authority. Humility is the key to this spiritual battle. It’s the key to overcoming the attacks and temptations of the evil one. So humble yourself before God when you feel oppressed or tempted. Humble yourself by admitting your weaknesses. Acknowledge that only God has the authority to strengthen you. Put your trust in Him. He will not let you down!

Lord, I am weak and nothing without You. Help me to know and believe that. Help me to humble myself before You and to be strengthened in that humility to overcome the temptations and influences of the evil one. Jesus, I trust in You!

Our Audio Catholic Daily Readings are sourced from USCCB 

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About Laban Thua 1020 Articles
I am a Commissioned Liturgy Minister and also a Lector at Assumption of Mary Catholic Church. Am also a Commissioned Catholic Men Association (CMA), Member and a Lover of the Catholic Church and its teachings. My passion is disseminating the Catholic Daily Readings and Reflections, Bible Verse of the Day, Catholic Quote of the Day and Catholic Saint of the Day Information every day to all Catholic Faithfuls throughout the world.