HOMILY OF SUNDAY OF THE 4TH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME YEAR B
Deut 18:15-20, 1Cor 7:32-35, Mark 1:21b-28
THEME: THE SOURCE OF PERSONAL AUTHORITY
Our primary duty as Christians is to make sure that the voice of God is heard in the world.
This task becomes easy when we draw directly from the personality authority of Jesus.
In our today’s first reading, Moses said,
“And the Lord said to me, they have rightly said all that they have spoken. I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their brethren; and I will put my words in his mouth, and he shall speak to them all that I command him. And whoever will not give heed to my words which he shall speak in my names, I myself will require it of him. But the prophet who presumes to speak a word in my name which I have not commanded him to speak, or who speaks in the name of others gods, that same prophet shall die.”
However, there is much confusion in the world today where we often find it difficult to know who is speaking in God’s name or in the voice of a stranger. There abound several preachers or self-acclaimed prophets who style themselves as the oracle of God, but are self –seeking business men and women and ravenous wolves. Despite all the aberrations, God continues to speak to his people. Hence, it takes much attention and discernment to know who is who. If as a result of prejudice we choose to close our ears or shut our minds, we may not know the time when we lose track of God’s word to us at any given time. God can speak to us through anyone. All we need is to open eyes wide and put on our spiritual binocular.
Moreover, we see in today’s gospel how Jesus was at his primary work of instructing people in the synagogue. He spoke with personal authority and with the finality of God’s voice. He is the Word of God personified. He does not need to appeal to any other authority as the scribes and Pharisees do. Those in the synagogue were amazed at the authority with which he spoke, more so, the manner in which he expelled demons.
All we need is a total dedication to Jesus. The power over Satan is a given to those who allow themselves to be taken over by God. The unclean Spirits in the possessed man was crying so as to distract Jesus’ ministry of teaching. He rather retorted, “Be silent and come out of him” Jesus did not create a scene for power demonstration, neither did he create a wrestling scene as many of today’s self-acclaimed prophets do.
Therefore, all that God wants from us is to have the right knowledge of him, so as to possess the life he has prepared for us. When we pursue shadow, seeking signs and wonders and we forget the substance of the spiritual life, devil will take the stage. Like, Jesus, our work is to stop the work of Satan so as to lead people to enlightenment. In any case, we should know that true enlightenment comes from the word that proceeds from the mouth of God. We must embody the word of God in our deeds and try not to allow any worldly matters to sift us from being true heralds of the gospel.
May the words of God be sweet on our lips. Having applied it to our lives, may it give us the courage to pass it across with the authority which the devil cannot defile. May we not reject the word of God spoken to us so that God will not require it of us. In our quest to make him known, may we not beat our own personal drum and loose the honour that follow those who obey. Amen