Monday, February 02, 2009

Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Dt 18:15-20
1 Cor 7:32-35
Mk 1:21-28

Here in Louisville it’s been a difficult week. A major ice storm roared through the city on Tuesday night and Wednesday, coating everything with inches of ice, causing tree limbs and entire trees to topple under the weight of ice, tearing down power lines causing a massive power outage, with about 250,000 people losing power. Even as I write this on Sunday morning about 95,000 people are still without electricity. Four people have died trying to find ways to heat their homes. Personally, we lost power sometime on Wednesday morning and didn’t get it back till late Friday evening. Like most people, we were not adequately prepared for this emergency. We had been warned, all the weather forecasters told us, this is coming, it’s going to be bad, get ready. We want weather reports, but when we get them we too often fail to pay attention. Weather forecasters must, at times, feel like Old Testament prophets, speaking truth to the people, only to be ignored. Moses, speaking to the people of Israel, tells them, you asked for a prophet and one is given to you, now listen to the prophet who speaks in God’s name. Listen to the one who speaks with authority. They too often failed to listen, to heed the words of Moses and the prophets who followed. They said they wanted to know, but did not heed the warnings they were given. They continually wandered away from the path God laid out for them.
Jesus spoke in the synagogue, teaching not as the scribes, but as one having authority. Jesus spoke the word of God to those who would hear. The people were astounded, by Jesus’ words and actions. “He commands even the unclean spirits and they obey him.” Jesus’ fame spread, more came to hear him, and some listened, learned, heeded what he said, and followed. Jesus, the Word of God, walked among us, teaching, showing us the path we are to follow. We hear the Word, but do we listen? The path we are to take is clear, yet we too often act as many did when weather forecasters warned of this storm. The Word is with us, the way is clear. Follow the path and be ready for the storms that come.

Deacon John
The Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Feb. 1, 2009