Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time - B - February 1, 2015


The Power of Words, The Power of the Teacher


Much has been written about verbage, wasted words. Yet, in this time of mass media and immediate communications, we do find that some words do have power, especially from powerful people. When leaders speak, we listen, especially when the leaders back their words up with action. Jesus was such a leader. His words had power, for he backed up his words with action.

DAILY READINGS FOR THE THIRD WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME

WEEKLY BLOG  This week, we consider what's "All in a Name."

VIDEOCAST  In this week's videocast, we look into the power of the Christ and his exorcisms.

MP3 PODCAST In this week’s podcast, we discuss what it means to teach with power. A personal, inner power can turn the most boring presenter into a dynamic teacher.

FIRST READING The book of Deuteronomy foretold of a great Prophet, one who would lead the nation. He would not rebel, nor would he prophesy falsely. As Christians, we believe the great Prophet is Jesus, our Teacher..

PSALM Psalm 95 is one of the great praise hymns in the Bible. It was a gathering song, a call for the people to worship. Along with that call was a warning: do not presume the Lord’s will or turn your back on him. So, like the people of ancient Israel, we are called to praise God with sincere hearts. We are not to turn away from him..

SECOND READING We all give example to others in life. The question remains: how powerful is our example? Place that question in the context of married life. St. Paul did in his first letter to the Corinthians. He compared the single life to the married life and found the former superior as an ideal. For Paul, it was easier to show others a holy life as a single person, without the distractions of spouse or children. Paul also recognized individual needs might require marriage..

GOSPEL Mark’s gospel tells us Jesus could exorcize based upon the power of his teaching. That viewpoint might sound strange to us moderns. But we should realize that words sometimes are more powerful than actions, especially when the word comes from God..

CHILDREN’S READINGS In the story of the first reading, Jennifer was depressed from a broken home life. She was looking for a friend. Her coach told her to start with God as a friend. In Deuteronomy, Moses promised a great Prophet, someone who would speak to us about God’s will. He would be our true friend and give us good advice. We believe this friend is Jesus. In the story for the gospel, Kenny was a great baseball player but a terrible team member. He wanted to the star. He wanted to be in charge. Many coaches didn’t want Kenny on their teams. Some called Kenny “possessed.” Then, Kenny joined Coach Ralph’s team. Coach Ralph challenged Kenny to learn more, respect more, and become a team player. Like Jesus when he exorcised the demonic, Coach Ralph was able to turn a selfish player into something much better.

CATECHISM LINK In this week’s Catechism Link, we investigate Jesus as Teacher and Miracle Worker.

FAMILY ACTIVITY To restore the notion of power in words, play the old “telephone” game with your family members. The lesson of the game is not only the fragile nature of words (we can be so easily misunderstood) but the power of words when we understand their true import..