January 28, 2018 – 4th Sunday of the Church Year

Saint for the day:Thomas Aquinas (1225 – March 7, 1274

Scripture Readings for today’s Liturgy:

Deuteronomy 18:15-20 – Ps. 95 – 1Corinthians 7:32-35 – Mark 1:21-

“Preach what you believe. Practice what you preach.”

To be a prophet is an awesome challenge because to speak for God puts you in a very open and vulnerable position. A popular phrase that comes to mind, “put your money where your mouth is” calls a prophet to a position of accountability that is not always easy to maintain. We all know the meaning of “the higher you go, the harder your fall” and we’ve seen people like some of the TVangelists rise to successful prominence and then, tragically fall when their “way of life” becomes very public. And when I say this I am not leaving out our own Catholic “leaders” who, also, have not always been totally honest in their taking on the roll of “prophet.”

In today’s first reading from Deuteronomy, we’re given the conditions of being a prophet and what is required in assuming this task. In the Gospel, Jesus “commands with authority” the evil spirit and the people are awed at what happens. “He speaks with authority” seems to be the key to our own approach to our ministry. Where and how do we claim this kind of authority?

If you’re reading this reflection on the Dominican Web page, go back and check out the little “blurb” Dominican Life where I point out those four pillars that are the foundation of all that we are called to do: Prayer, Study, Community, Ministry.

We will never be able to command demons if we are not connected to God through prayer. And we cannot have successful prayer if we don’t know who God is (study) and then, like Jesus, we always keep ourselves connected to other like believers (community) in order to have power over the demons in our world. If you want to be a “prophet of God” this is the outline to follow. It might seem simple but there really is no other way. Amen!

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