Homily: 4th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Cycle B

Readings of the Day

It’s snowing on this first day of February, and February snows make me think of one thing: how soon does Spring Training start? When that starts, there’s new hope, especially if your team has a multi talented player as their star. To have someone who can hit, hit for power, field, throw, run, and come through in the clutch is a manager’s dream. Most teams are lucky to have one, great teams have more. Sure, you need role players, and sometimes you can win with just role players, but a multi-talented star can turn a good team into a great one.

Jesus is in the synagogue, an amazing man. His teaching isn’t just a rote recitation of a text, it connects with them where they are. He’s able to drive away demons, which teachers didn’t do at that time, and he orders the demons not to tell people who he is. He’s overwhelming, and is a challenge to them. Now in that time, there were great teachers, rabbis, who could open up understanding about scripture in new ways. There were healers, who would lay hands on folks and make them well, and exorcists, who drove out demons. Jesus did it all, and that’s what surprised folks. He was a multi talented star: there was nothing he couldn’t do.

Jesus can do for us everything he did for them. He is our guide and companion, our teacher and our leader, our healer: He can even reach into the depths of our soul and pull out any dark spirits that may have taken root there. Sometimes we forget what we have in Christ, think we need turn somewhere else for something essential. He is the path of life in every way.

It’s even more of a reach to say He is our food and drink. Jesus is our basic nourishment and becomes part of us, to keep us going and make us better. Sometimes our question is how can we keep turning toward Him, even in ways that seem unlikely. Sometimes it’s recognizing all He can give us. The Gospel of Mark keeps asking the question: “Who is Jesus?”, and keeps us on that question from beginning to end. Our challenge of faith is how we answer that question, how we keep confronting that basic question: Who is Jesus?

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