4th Sunday in Ordinary Time
“He taught them as one having authority.”
Entrance Antiphon: Ps 106(105):47 — “Save us, O Lord our God! And gather us from the nations, to give thanks to Your holy name, and make it our glory to praise You.”
First Reading: Dt 18:15-20 — “I will raise up a prophet and I will put My words into his mouth.”
Responsorial Psalm: Ps 95:1-2, 6-7, 7-9 — “If today you hear His voice, harden not your hearts.”
Second Reading: 1 Cor 7:32-35 — “A virgin is anxious about the things of the Lord, that she may be holy.”
Alleluia: Mt 4:16 — Alleluia, alleluia.“The people who sit in darkness have seen a great light; on those dwelling in a land overshadowed by death, light has arisen.” Alleluia, alleluia.
Gospel: Mk 1:21-28 — “He taught them as one having authority.”
Communion Antiphon: Ps 31(30):17-18 — “Let Your face shine on Your servant. Save me in Your merciful love. O Lord, let me never be put to shame, for I call on You.”
Well, let me begin my homily today by asking all of you a question. How many of you remember your Baptism? I ask that because last week, we learned a little about Baptism ... the first Sacrament of Initiation … the Sacrament in which we accept Christ’s mission and are made Priests, Prophets and Kings. Today, to follow-up a bit, let me explain how that happens. During the Baptismal Rite, in the prayer during the second anointing ... the anointing with Sacred Chrism on the individual’s head, the celebrant says:
“Almighty God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, has freed you from sin,
given you new birth by water and the Holy Spirit and joined you to His people.
He now anoints you with the Chrism of salvation, so that you may remain
as a member of Christ, Priest, Prophet, and King, unto eternal life.”
And so, in the homily last week we also learned a little bit about what that actually means as a Christian when we accept Jesus’ mission ... when we commit to becoming Priest, Prophet, and King. Baptism was the first step. For most of us here, we re-established those baptismal promises prior to the Bishop anointing us at our Confirmation ... when we made that commitment to accept Christ’s mission ourselves. And we are also all reminded of our mission each and every year when we renew those promises at Easter. So having said all that ... this morning ... I challenge you to consider yet again … have you thought about those Baptismal promises you made? ... do you actually take them to heart? ... do you try to live your Baptismal promises out each and every day?
Today, during the Liturgy of the Word, we heard stories of Moses, Paul and Jesus, and how they acted as prophets. And they are but three ... if you think about it, there are also many other special prophets ... special persons ... Saints and others ... present throughout history. As we commemorate Saints during daily Mass each week, we look at their lives and we’re further challenged to identify those individuals present around us today acting as prophets. I also ask you to also consider that a prophet (or a Saint) isn’t only a prophet by what they say. Actions can often speak louder than words ... that’s what heard Saint Francis of Assisi say ... “Preach always ... sometimes use words” ... right? And so, let’s go one step further ... having said all that, ask yourselves ... can I be a prophet? ... do my words and actions provide an example of what I believe?