by Sr. Juliemarie Mcdonald, SND on 01/27/2018

in Ordinary Time

Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time
January 29, 2018

“If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts.”
(Hebrews 3:15)


“Constant repetition carries conviction.”(Robert Collier)
Don’t just hear—Listen.
Don’t just listen—ponder the message.
This is a fine New Year’s resolution. What I will discover is a solution?
Where? Discover solutions in the Sunday Gospels.
“If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts.”

The townspeople were astonished at the authority of Jesus’ words.
From the beginnings of our life we have known and obeyed authority.
first from parents, then teachers, and bosses in our work environment.
Hopefully, these words, commands and demands resemble the Word of God, Jesus.

Though just a local carpenter, Jesus was a prophet like the many prophets before him.
These were not necessarily saintly people, but ordinary folk: shepherds and farmers,
adults and children!—extraordinary in the ordinary tasks of daily life.
They not only heard, they heeded the words of the prophets.

Prophets like Jesus freed his listeners.
How? By being an authority figure, Jesus helped people grow.
His words were compassionate, peaceful and loving.
He did not “beat around the bush” but spoke with clarity and authority.

His kind of authority was not negative. He was respected as a wise,
a good man who kept the promises he made to the people,
a good man in challenging people to grow in faithfulness to God.

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

For Reflection and Sharing:

  1. What demons hold authority over you?
  2. Why is gospel truly Good News?
  3. Who are the false prophets we meet on a daily basis?
  4. Does your listening to the Word cause you to God-like action? Why or why not?
  5. How do you recognize ordinary folk –temples of the Holy Spirit as prophets in our day?
  6. What are some of the characteristics of a hardened heart?

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