Today is the fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time. I still get a kick out of understanding what that means. The readings for today are from Deuteronomy, First Corinthians, and Mark.
Deuteronomy 18, 15-20~ The Lord will raise a prophet from among the Israelites as a leader for the people. This prophet represents Messianic foreshadowing of Jesus. However, the passage also shows God's insistence on being the only god of the Israelites. God will cause any prophet who bears false witness to God's commands to die. To die is to be cut off, ostracized from company, separate from God's love.
I Corinthians 7, 23-35~ Paul is writing to the Corinthians to encourage them to serve the Lord without distractions. Paul states that both men and women are distracted and divided when married. marriage makes a person focus on the here-and-now, while non-marriage is a state of focus on the Lords. Paul emphasizes that is is he who is telling the Corinthians this, not the Lord. I can see this in my own life. When I was much younger, I loved God with all my hear. As I grew older, I gave my heart to others. I became distracted from God for a long time. Now, I am turning back to Him in continual cycles of conversion.
Mark 1, 21-28~ Jesus teaches at a synagogue on the Sabbath and commands an unclean spirit to leave a man, which it does. The unclean spirit recognized Jesus as the "Holy One of God." Jesus is recognized by the people as a teacher with authority (a prophet) unlike their scribes. Both the unclean spirit and the people of Capernaum know that Jesus has power and recognize his strength to command them.
Synthesis and Conclusions~
Today's passages reflect on the Prophetic power of God and Love of God. By being unmarried and, therefore, free to focus all life's energy on God, we are able to see God and love Him fully. God wants us to love him completely. That desire for a complete love is what powers the idea of false prophets dying. Jesus recognized and loves the man with the unclean spirit. By freeing the man of the unclean spirit, Jesus shows his love for the man. Jesus also shows his strength in that process.
What do you think?