Posted by: RAM | January 31, 2015

Sunday (February 1): Jesus taught with authority

Mabuhay at Mabuting Balita!
Month of the Passion of Our Lord

Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 71

First Reading: Deuteronomy 18:15-20
Psalms 95:1-2, 6-9:   Blessed be the Lord the God of Israel; he has come to his people.
Second Reading: 1 Corinthians 7:32-35
Gospel: Mark 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. http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/020115.cfm

Reflection:  Do you believe that God’s word has power to set you free and to transform your life? When Jesus taught he spoke with authority. He spoke the word of God as no one had spoken it before. When the Rabbis taught they supported their statements with quotes from other authorities. The prophets spoke with delegated authority – “Thus says the Lord.” When Jesus spoke he needed no authorities to back his statements. He was authority incarnate – the Word of God made flesh. When he spoke, God spoke. When he commanded even the demons obeyed.

Faith works through love and abounds in hope
Augustine of Hippo (354-430) remarked that “faith is mighty, but without love it profits nothing. The devils confessed Christ, but lacking charity it availed nothing. They said, ‘What have we to do with you’ (Mark 1:24)? They confessed a sort of faith, but without love. Hence they were devils.”

Faith is powerful, but without love it profits nothing (1 Corinthians 13). Scripture tells us that true faith works through love (Galatians 5:6) and abounds in hope (Romans 15:13). Our faith is made perfect in love because love orients us to the supreme good which is God himself as well as the good of our neighbor who is created in the image and likeness of God (Genesis 1:26,27).

Hope anchors our faith in the promises of God and purifies our desires for the things which will last for eternity. That is why the word of Christ has power to set us free from all that would keep us bound in sin, deception, and despair. Bede the venerable abbot of an English monastery (672-735) contrasted the power and authority of Jesus’ word with the word of the devil:  “The devil, because he had deceived Eve with his tongue, is punished by the tongue, that he might not speak” [Homilies on the Gospels 1.8].

Faith must be nourished with the Word of God
Faith is both a free gift of God and the free assent of our will to the whole truth that God has revealed. To live, grow, and persevere in the faith to the end, we must nourish it with the word of God. The Lord gives us his Holy Spirit to enlighten our minds that we may grow in his truth and in the knowledge of his great love for each of us. If we approach God’s word submissively, with an eagerness to do everything the Lord desires, we are in a much better position to learn what God wants to teach us through his word. Are you eager to be taught by the Lord and to conform your life according to his word?

“Lord Jesus, your word is power and life. May I never doubt your saving love and mercy, and the power of your word to bring healing and deliverance to those in need.” http://www.rc.net/wcc/readings/feb1.htm  http://www.dailyscripture.net author Don Schwager © 2014 Servants of the Word

Saint of the Day: St. Brigid of Kildare (c. 452-c. 524)

The known facts about St. Brigid of Kildare are few, but she is revered as one of Ireland’s three patron saints (along with Patrick and Columba).

What we do know is that she was a fifth-century nun who founded the Abbey of Kildare, southwest of Dublin. Both monks and nuns lived there, and many accounts record that Brigid served as superior of both the men and women. In any event, the Abbey of Kildare contributed significantly to the spread of Christianity throughout Ireland at a time when traditional Irish religion was disappearing.

Many miracles have been attributed to Brigid. What is more certain is that she was an extraordinary woman who was known especially for her generosity to the poor. Because of the prominence the Abbey of Kildare gained under Brigid’s leadership, she is considered the special patron of scholars. Her feast day is observed on February 1. http://www.americancatholic.org/features/saints/saint.aspx?id=1514&calendar=1

More Saints of the Day:

Let me be the change I want to be. Even if I am not the light, I can be the spark. @Pontifex RAM

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