IV Sunday of Ordinary Time

Por: p. José Miguel González

Palabra de Hoy
Palabra de Hoy

31 de enero de 2021

The Lord says: “I will arouse a prophet among his brethren, like you. I’ll put my words in his mouth, and he’ll tell you everything I send you.”

Everyone wondered dumbfounded, “What is this? A new teaching put forward with authority. He even sends the filthy spirits and they obey him.”


First Reading

Reading the book of Deuteronomy 18, 15–20

Moses spoke to the people saying:
“The Lord, your God, will arouse you from among your own, among your brethren, a prophet like me. They’ll listen to him. That is what you asked of the Lord, your God, in the Horeb on the day of assembly: ‘I do not want to hear the voice of the Lord my God again, nor do I want to see that great fire any more, so as not to die.’
The Lord said to me, ‘It is right what they have said. I will arouse a prophet among his brethren, like you. I’ll put my words in his mouth, and he’ll tell you everything I send you. I myself will ask anyone who does not listen to the words I utter on my behalf to account. And the prophet who has the arrogance to say in my name what I have not commanded him, or speak in the name of foreign gods, that prophet shall die.'”


Exit 94, 1-2. 6-7. 8-9

May you hear the voice of the Lord today: “Do not harden your heart.”

Come, let us acclaim the Lord, let us give cheers to the Rock that saves us;
let us enter his presence by thanking him, cheering him with songs. R/.

Come in, let us prostrate ourselves by land, blessing the Lord, our creator.
Because he is our God, and we are his people, the flock he guides. R/.

May you hear his voice today: “Do not harden your heart as in Meribá,
like Masa’s day in the desert; when his parents put me to the test
and tempted me, even though they had seen my works.” R/.

Second Reading

Reading St Paul’s first letter to Corinthians 7, 32-35

I want you to spare concerns: the unmarried cares about the Lord’s affairs, seeking to please the Lord; instead, the married man worries about the affairs of the world, seeking to please his wife, and he is divided. Also the wife without a husband and the unmarried woman care about the affairs of the Lord, of being holy in body and soul; instead, the married woman cares about the affairs of the world, seeking to please her husband.

I tell you all this for your good; not to set them up, but to induce them to noble things and deal with the Lord without worry.


Reading the Holy Gospel according to Mark 1, 21-28

In the city of Cafarnaum, on Saturday Jesus entered the synagogue to teach; they were astonished at their teaching, because he taught them with authority and not as the scribes. There was precisely in his synagogue a man who had an unclean spirit and began to shout: “What do we have to do with you, Jesus Nazarene? Are you here to take us down? I know who you are: the Holy One of God.”
Jesus incredulously, “Shut up and get out of it!”
The filthy spirit twisted him violently and, giving a very loud cry, came out of him. Everyone wondered dumbfounded, “What is this? A new teaching put forward with authority. He even sends the filthy spirits and they obey him.”
His fame spread immediately everywhere, reaching the entire region of Galilee.



Today’s Word of God begins by telling us about prophecy and prophets. We have heard how Yahweh God promises Moses to arouse a prophet among his brethren to speak to the people in his name. In addition, this prophet will have the help of God himself in his mission. The text of Deuteronomy says: “I will put my words in your mouth, and tell you everything I send you.” Therefore, the prophet must be someone in constant and continuous communion with God who, while still being himself and using his thoughts and words, communicates only God’s message and not his own. Hence the Lord’s demand for those who listen to the prophet and despise his words, for they will be despising the Word of God; demand also towards the prophet himself, who will never be able to use his function to preach himself, to manipulate, or appropriate a message that is not his.

Thus, the prophet’s primary task is not to guess or anticipate the future, or simply to denounce this or that situation, but to speak in the name of God, to convey his message, to communicate his Word as a living and present light, perhaps to denounce or proclaim, but always in the name of God. Tremendous responsibility for those who by vocation assume this ministry at the service of the Church, society or humanity. The authentic prophet will be the one who restrains his word with the coherence of his own life in connection with the message of God he conveys. Thus, the true prophet becomes the best witness of God’s experience, as an example of life, as a role model. He will communicate what lives and will live what he contemplates in his intimacy with God.

Authentic prophets are men and women of God who reflect God in all that they say and do. At the moment our world needs them more than ever. The heart of humanity, our own heart, has hardened, God has been closed, transcendence, spirituality. We live too focused on the immediate, the tangible, the verifiable, the material and the worldly. Our gaze is too terrestrial. We have disconnected from God and for that very reason we have lost ourselves in the search for our own identity. We need more than ever the height and depth of god’s men and women, prophets of his love and mercy. Let us seek and hear the voice of God in those who authentically convey their message.

This Sunday’s Gospel introduces us to Jesus, surrounded by his disciples, in the synagogue of Cafarnaum. It was Saturday, the most important day of the week for the Jews, and their activity began by praying and listening to the Word of God, giving thanks. Jesus was there teaching and people were amazed at how He spoke. They said he spoke with authority, as no one had done before, not as the teachers of the Law. In addition, there Jesus does the first miracle that the gospel of Mark tells us; frees a man from possession of an unclean spirit. So his doctrine is supported by the miracle, the authenticity and authority of his word rests on his liberating action of the evil one. Hence, those who listen to Him recognize in Him a new doctrine full of authority. His word recreates and transforms reality damaged by evil, is a word with saving power, conveys a message and realizes what the message means.

Jesus is definitely the Prophet of God, the Father’s envoy, the Holy One of God. It causes admiration and anticipation from the beginning. It also happens to those who now for the first time approach Jesus, not as someone who existed, but as someone who lives and is close to us. The fascination that your person produces cannot be compared to that of any social or political leader of our time or of any era. This is not a mere sensitive or ideological or moral appeal. His figure and message, supported by the coherence of life that he showed and which led him to the final sacrifice on the Cross, still has an unappealable authority for all those who want to live life with a height of sight and depth of spirit. Jesus Christ presented Himself as the model of a new humanity, a way of being for all, beyond even cultural, social, or religious differences of his time.

Certainly today, authority is repeatedly confused with power. Those who hold social, political, economic, even religious power sometimes consider themselves possessors of an authority linked to such power that exempts them from coherence and responsibility in their personal action. Regardless of whether the ostentation of power is more or less legitimate, his authority cannot rely on the same power but on its principles and conscience. When one acts without principle and without conscience in the exercise of power, every spiritual, moral or social authority is lost and authoritarianism is dropped, leading to the imposition of ideas, ignorance or elimination of the adversary, oppression and suppression of freedom. And this, done in a subtle or uninhibited way, leads to the same personal and social result: the destruction of the person and society.

Jesus Christ has not come into the world to destroy but to build a new humanity. Jesus reveals God’s love for each of us. His authority is not an oppressive power but a balm that frees us, a new light that illuminates the dark stretches of our existence, a force that encourages us in our struggles, difficulties, trials, temptations. Even today, Jesus Christ is someone who speaks to our hearts, to free us from the evil one, to strengthen us in weaknesses, to put pause and order into our busy life. Even many who do not believe in God, who do not accept that Jesus Christ is the Son of God made man, cannot fail to affirm that their humanity and their proposal of humanism have not been surpassed by anyone in history. No one can deny that making the example of his life a reality and his message always makes us more human and better people.

We Christians are called to be reflections of their glory, that is, of their truth and love. We participate in your prophetic mission in the world. By bringing our lives into tune with the Gospel of Christ, we become communicators of his message and transformers of the reality around us. If we are in communion with Him, our words and works will partake of His liberating and admirable authority. The Evil One, in any form, will feel unmasked and flee from our surroundings. We will be free men and women, partakers of God’s power to transform the world. Never forgetting that our destiny will be similar to yours: sacrifice and cross, death and resurrection.



Father, source of light and warmth, send us your living Word,

and make us accept it without fear, and let ourselves be embraced by it.

Thy Word come, Lord, and once your inextinguishable fire is lit in our hearts, we ourselves will be bearers of that fire to one another.

Ton us, Lord, in warm and luminous words, capable of setting the world on fire, so that every person who hears us may feel eng distanced by the infinite flames of your Love. Amen.

(Fr. Ignacio Larrañaga)


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