Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time – Year B

Deuteronomy 18/15-20, Psalm 95, 1 Corinthians 7/32-35, Mark 1/21-28

We are living in a world that is filled with voices coming to us from all directions. Sometimes it is very difficult to figure out which one is authentic and true, and which one is to listen to and to follow. In the first reading, Deuteronomy 18:15-20, we learn who the true prophets are and what kind of voice they present. The true prophet is not self-claimed. And their message must reflect the will of God and not the will of the prophet.

In the Psalm, Psalm 95: 1-2, 6-7, 7-9, we hear the psalmist reminding us that "If today we hear his voice, harden not your heart." Whose voice is it anyway? It is the voice of God who calls us into the fellowship with him.

In the second reading, 1 Corinthians 7:32-35, we hear St. Paul telling us that he wants us to be free from all anxieties about life and about what we are called to do and to be. The underlined message is there are many different voices that do not concern things of the Lord. The Saint calls us to commitment and fidelity with our vocation, the vocation to be fully human.

In the gospel, Mark 1:21-28, we hear the voice of Jesus commanding the unclean spirit to be out of a man "Quiet! Come out of him!" It is the voice of the One with authority and this voice reflects the will of the Father.

Without a doubt we can say that it is very difficult to hear the true voice in the midst of our chaotic world. Very often we just want to hear what we just want to hear. We deny to hear from others even when they tell the truth. We get upset and hold hatred toward others when they point out our wrong deeds. There are times we see good and truthful individuals suffer wrong punishments.

Indeed, God’s voice, teaching or preaching, is about love, concern, care, understanding, forgiveness, mercy, redemption and eternal joy.

Do we really want to hear God’s voice?

Do we have the joy upon listening to the voice of God? Are we allowing the teachings of our God to change the way of our own life at this moment?

Fr. Phi Nguyen

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