'Hear the Word!' by Bill Ayres: Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Posted by Bill Ayres on Jan 29, 2022 6:00:00 AM

A reading from the prophecy of Jeremiah

(Chapter 1:4-5, 17-19)

Jesus once remarked that a prophet is not honored in his own country (Mark 6:4). That was certainly true of Jeremiah. He was treated terribly by his own people and was almost killed. In the passage read in today’s Mass, God is preparing Jeremiah for his “terrible task” and assuring him, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I dedicated you a prophet to the nations I appointed you…. Stand up and tell them all that I command you. Be not crushed on my account.”

Jeremiah suffered greatly and was almost crushed. Still, he was faithful to God despite his many fears and depression. Somehow, God’s strength was with him in the most painful and desperate times.

We all have times of fear, depression, and the concern that we are not up to the task before us. It seems to be just too much. At those very times, God will be present to us in numerous ways, if we can listen to his saving message and accept the support that might be near at hand.

Responsorial Psalm

(Psalm 71)

“I will sing of your salvation.” This beautiful psalm is an affirmation that God is on our side always, “a stronghold to give me safety. “

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Topics: Reflections on the coming Sunday's Gospel, RENEW International, fourth sunday in ordinary time

'Hear the Word!' by Bill Ayres: Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Posted by Bill Ayres on Jan 30, 2021 6:00:00 AM

A reading from the book of Deuteronomy

(Chapter 18:15-20)

God has always sent prophets to guide his people, so Moses said, “A prophet like me will the Lord, your God, raise up for you from among his own kin; to him you shall listen.” But Moses knew that there would also be false prophets, so he warned the people, “But if a prophet presumes to speak in my name an oracle that I have not commanded him to speak, or speaks in the name of other gods, he shall die.”

Throughout the history of Israel, there were many false prophets but also many genuine prophets who truly spoke the word of the Lord and helped the people in their times of great need. Who are the true prophets and who are the false prophets in our world today? Who speaks the truth and who spews lies? Who calls for healing and reconciliation and who calls for violence and destruction? Whom can we trust in all the dimensions of our lives?

Responsorial Psalm

(Psalm 95:1-2, 6-7, 7-9)

“If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts.” Where and how does the voice of God speak to you? In prayer and in times of quiet, or in conversations with people you trust and sometimes, even with people you do not trust or respect but still have something that strikes you as true and important? The voice of God may come to us from many sources. Let us pray to discern which voices deserve to be heard.

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Topics: Reflections on the coming Sunday's Gospel, Jesus Christ, Moses, RENEW International, Ordinary Time, authority of Jesus, fourth sunday in ordinary time, false prophets

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