January 28, 2018
by Tamora Whitney
Creighton University's English Department
click here for photo and information about the writer

Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 71

Deuteronomy 18:15-20
Psalms 95:1-2, 6-7, 7-9
1 Corinthians 7:32-35
Mark 1:21-28

Praying Ordinary Time

An Audio Conversation about Preparing for Lent - 11 min.

If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts.

God spoke directly to Moses. In the first reading God has promised the people that he will speak directly to someone from their own kin like he speaks to Moses so those people can hear and understand. They will be able to hear the word of God in their own language and within their own culture. What an amazing opportunity. I know I would love to hear directly from God. Today it seems hard to know exactly what to do and what really is God’s will. Back then God spoke directly to Moses, and he said exactly what to do. The people in the first reading have a prophet in their midst. But this opportunity comes with responsibility also. They have to listen and obey. And false prophets will not be tolerated. Actually, this helps them out too, because anyone who pretends to prophesy, but isn’t the prophet God speaks to directly will die, so the people actually know that their prophet is real.  That makes it easier to trust in and follow his words.

Even the demons listen to Jesus and obey. He calls out the unclean spirit that recognizes that Jesus is the voice of God and no match for the evil spirit, which is destroyed at his words. The people are amazed at this, but the voice of God is that powerful.

It’s more difficult today to hear and understand the voice of God, but not impossible. We can read it here in the scriptures. We can sense it in our conscience. We can see it in God’s creation. We should be alert and aware for where it will express itself. God is all around us. We need to recognize his voice when we hear it. If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts.

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