Fourth Sunday of Ordinary Time: A Teaching that is new

Today we encounter Jesus in a synagogue where he shows himself as a teacher with the authority: his actions confirm his teachings. The Kingdom of God is close at hand and the powers of evil are being vanquished.

The readings invite us to pay attention to the one who teaches us and frees us.

As you begin these reflections each day spend a few moments repeating the phrase “Speak Lord, your servant it listening.” Then read the short passage from Sunday’s readings until you have memorised it. Read the questions and give yourself time to deeply consider your response. Once you have reflected for a few minutes, speak to the Lord, as you would to a friend, about what you have reflected upon.

Sunday.

Moses said to the people: ‘Your God will raise up for you a prophet like myself, from among yourselves, from your own brothers; to him you must listen.’ (Deut 18:15)

  • What is a prophet? Have you ever encountered one?
  • Is there someone in your family/community that God has gifted in a particular way?
  • What gifts has God given to you to use in your community?
  • What is God saying to you just now that you must listen to?

Monday.

O that today you would listen to his voice! Harden not your hearts. (Psalm 94:9)

  • How do you normally listen to the voice of God?
  • God speaks in Sacred Scripture, Tradition, the teaching office of the church and your conscience. What is easiest for you to pay attention to?
  • When have your hardened your heart to God speaking to you?
  • Listen now to his voice as he speaks to you today.

Tuesday.

 Let us come before him, giving thanks, with songs let us hail the Lord. (Psalm 94:2)

  • What do you want to give thanks to God for today?
  • Is there a hymn or song that you use to hail the Lord?
  • How do you “come before him”?
  • What is God thanking you for just now?

Wednesday.

I would like to see you free from all worry.                       (First Corinthians 7:32)

  • Make a list of all the things you worry about.
  • Which of these do you actually have any control over?
  • What would your life be like free from all worry?
  • Spend time with the Lord who desires you to be free from all worry and distress.

Thursday.

Jesus went to the synagogue and began to teach. And his teaching made a deep impression on them, because, unlike the scribes, he taught them with authority.  (Mark 1:21-22)

  • Imagine the scene as Jesus comes into the assembly.
  • How do you picture Jesus as he teaches?
  • When has a teaching of the Lord made a deep impression on you?
  • What does Jesus was you to learn from him today?

Friday

‘I know who you are: the Holy One of God.’ But Jesus said sharply, ‘Be quiet! Come out of him.’ (Mark 1:24-25)

  • Who is Jesus to you? What do you call him?
  • Why do think Jesus stops the evil spirit from naming him?
  • What must it have been like for the man to be freed from being possessed?
  • What does Jesus want to free you from just now?

Saturday

The people were so astonished that they started asking each other what it all meant. ‘Here is a teaching that is new’, the said, ‘and with authority behind it.’  (Mark 1:27)

  • Have you ever been astonished as a follower of the Lord?
  • When have you spoken to fellow believers about what the Lord is doing in your midst?
  • What kind of authority does Jesus have in your life?
  • What is the new teaching that Jesus wants you to be aware of today?
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