Sunday, December 15, 2019

7th February 2019: Thursday of the Fourth Week in Ordinary Time Year C

Thursday of the Fourth Week in Ordinary Time

Today’s Audio Mass Readings – Lectionary: 326

1st Reading – HEB 12:18-19, 21-24

Brothers and sisters:
You have not approached that which could be touched
and a blazing fire and gloomy darkness
and storm and a trumpet blast
and a voice speaking words such that those who heard
begged that no message be further addressed to them.
Indeed, so fearful was the spectacle that Moses said,
“I am terrified and trembling.”
No, you have approached Mount Zion
and the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem,
and countless angels in festal gathering,
and the assembly of the firstborn enrolled in heaven,
and God the judge of all,
and the spirits of the just made perfect,
and Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant,
and the sprinkled Blood that speaks more eloquently
than that of Abel.

Responsorial Psalm – PS 48:2-3AB, 3CD-4, 9, 10-11

R. (see 10) O God, we ponder your mercy within your temple.
Great is the LORD and wholly to be praised
in the city of our God.
His holy mountain, fairest of heights,
is the joy of all the earth.
R. O God, we ponder your mercy within your temple.
Mount Zion, “the recesses of the North,”
the city of the great King.
God is with her castles;
renowned is he as a stronghold.
R. O God, we ponder your mercy within your temple.
As we had heard, so have we seen
in the city of the LORD of hosts,
In the city of our God;
God makes it firm forever.
R. O God, we ponder your mercy within your temple.
O God, we ponder your mercy
within your temple.
As your name, O God, so also your praise
reaches to the ends of the earth.
Of justice your right hand is full.
R. O God, we ponder your mercy within your temple.

Alleluia – MK 1:15

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
The Kingdom of God is at hand;
repent and believe in the Gospel.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – MK 6:7-13

Jesus summoned the Twelve and began to send them out two by two
and gave them authority over unclean spirits.
He instructed them to take nothing for the journey but a walking stick
–no food, no sack, no money in their belts.
They were, however, to wear sandals but not a second tunic.
He said to them,
“Wherever you enter a house, stay there until you leave from there.
Whatever place does not welcome you or listen to you,
leave there and shake the dust off your feet
in testimony against them.”
So they went off and preached repentance.
The Twelve drove out many demons,
and they anointed with oil many who were sick and cured them.

Catholic Daily Reflections

Catholic Audio Gospel reflections

A Three-Step Process

Saint for Today

Jesus summoned the Twelve and began to send them out two by two and gave them authority over unclean spirits. Mark 6:7

The first thing that is worth pointing out in this passage is that Jesus “summoned” the Twelve. This means He brought them to Himself. Sure, we can read this as simply meaning that He, in a sense, called a meeting with them. But we should look deeper. We should see in this summoning the fact that Jesus was not only calling a meeting, but rather, He was drawing them to His very person. In this act of summoning, the Apostles were personally encountering Jesus, receiving His grace and power, and being changed themselves.

From there He sent them out two by two. This is also significant. Jesus knows our human weakness. He knows that by ourselves we will most likely fail, but with the Christian support of another we are greatly strengthened. This is because Jesus’ mission is not only something we do ourselves, it’s something that is communal as well. We are each one piece in His mission. However, to fulfill that mission, we need the love and support of others. We need to go two by two into the battle.

So what about this authority that Jesus gave them? It’s often not appreciated for what it is. Jesus very much does want to give us authority over the evil one and his minions since they are far more powerful than us. So, if we are to have a chance in the battle, we need Jesus’ authority. This is not only some supernatural power to cast out demons; rather, it’s much more extensive. So what is this authority and how do we exercise it?

First, it’s the power of true Christian charity. Charity, or love, overwhelms the evil one and renders him powerless in our lives. Selflessness, sacrifice, humility, faith, truth, etc., are among the most powerful weapons in our battle. The evil one does not know what to do with these. We do not necessarily have to engage in some sort of dramatic spiritual warfare to do battle. Simply love God and live that love in your daily life and you will, in a sense, be casting out demons left and right! We will have the victory in our Christian living because God will take care of all the rest. It’s His mission and He is the one summoning and sending us. So do not be afraid to follow His lead!

Reflect, today, upon this three step process that Jesus initiates with His Apostles and know that He desires the same with you:

  1. He summons you, daily, to Himself;
  2. He sends you forth to bring His love to others;
  3. He gives you the authority and power you need to fulfill His will. Be open to this process and our Lord will use you abundantly.

Lord, give me the love, courage and strength I need to live out Your divine plan. I hear You summoning me and I choose to respond with generosity. I willingly accept the authority of that grace into my life so that You can accomplish all that You desire. Jesus, I trust in You.

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