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Thursday, 25 January 2024 09:29

Beginning the journey

Jesus and his followers went as far as Capernaum, and as soon as the Sabbath came 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.

In their synagogue there was a man possessed by an unclean spirit, and it shouted, ‘What do you want with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are: the Holy One of God.’ But Jesus said sharply, ‘Be quiet! Come out of him!’ And the unclean spirit threw the man into convulsions and with a loud cry went out of him. The people were so astonished that they started asking each other what it all meant. ‘Here is a teaching that is new’ they said, ‘and with authority behind it: he gives orders even to unclean spirits and they obey him.’ And his reputation rapidly spread everywhere, through all the surrounding Galilean countryside. (Mark 1:21-28)

Reflection - Beginning the journey

Following directly from the call of the first four disciples in last week’s Gospel, this week we are plunged into the ministry of Jesus. The gospels of the 4th, 5th and 6th Sundays detail Jesus’ ministry in Capernaum.

Last Sunday the Gospel highlighted the disciples’ call to live and work in active partnership with Jesus. To become ‘fishers of people’ they left behind all that was known and familiar to them, including their thriving fishing businesses and families. They took ‘a leap of faith’, not knowing where their journey with Jesus would take them.

Over the next three Sundays we get some insight into who Jesus is and what that journey is about.

Today’s gospel finds Jesus and the disciples arriving in Capernaum, a small town on the northern edge of the Sea of Galilee, which will be Jesus’ base for his ministry in Galilee.

On the Sabbath Jesus and the disciples attend the Sabbath service during which Jesus gives a teaching. His words strike the people as authentic and having the ‘ring of truth’ about them. Jesus’ words not only move the people but also release a man from an unclean spirit. Jesus’ action is in response to the question the man poses, ‘Have you come to destroy us?’ Rather than destroy, Jesus liberates the man from the unclean spirit, restoring him to health and wholeness.

Jesus’ way is not about crushing people with the power and authority of God, but about bringing freedom and liberation from the evil which holds them bound.

Many people are afraid of God, but Jesus keeps saying and showing that we don’t need to be afraid of God. God is about doing good for his people, not about punishing them. God’s power heals, restores and frees so that we can grow into the people God has always dreamed we might become.

The disciples are learning something new about who God is through the words and actions of Jesus. There is a call here to greater faith and trust in the goodness of God.

Download and print the prayers and reading for this Sunday.

pdf Celebrating At Home 4th Sunday of Ordinary Time [PDF] (2.86 MB)                                   
default Celebrating At Home 4th Sunday of Ordinary Time [ePub] (3.75 MB)

 

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