4th Sunday Ordinary Time - Year B
LET US NOT AGAIN HEAR THE VOICE OF GOD
A thunder storm among mountains sounds very different from one in flat terrain. It echoes from peak to peak. This intensifies the volume of the tempest. The Hebrews had grown up in the region of the desert around the Nile valley. When Moses led them to the Sinai, they were awe-struck by the new surroundings. The prophet was inspired by a storm reverberating from the summit.
The Hebrews become frightened and plead with Moses to protect them from the blasts. He agrees to act as a mediator and spokesman with the Lord. He also predicts that God will send others--prophets--to fulfill this same function.
Today's Gospel reminds of the power of God's voice. Jesus speaks in a loud tone to drive out a demon. He is the ultimate prophet.
Jesus preaches his first sermon in Caphernaum. It elicits a favorable response from the congregation. They admire the fact that he speaks "with authority" in contrast to the scribes. The latter could read and write, but were afraid to be pinned down on specifics. When asked a question, they would merely quote the opinions of others. They would not give a definitive response. They would answer one question with another.
Jesus does give specifics; standing on his own authority to teach. This impresses his audience even more when he works a miraculous healing. There is definite power to his words.
Christ is probably reluctant to work a miracle because it will throw focus on his healing power rather than his teachings. In a sense he is entering his first battle with Satan. The devil wants to distract people away from Jesus' message. The powers of evil win the first battle, but will lose the war.
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