Sunday 31st January
Who is the Lord Jesus to you?
  • Deut 18: 15-20
  • Ps 95: 1-9
  • 1 Cor 7: 32-35
  • Mark 1: 21-28

Today’s liturgy is about leadership and know¬ing one’s leader. As much as the leader has authority and power, he or she has to wield the power in agreement with the one who imparted that leadership upon them. In the same way, those who are led by the leader need to recog¬nise their leader to obey and trust in him or her.

In the First reading, we see Moses describing to the Israelites, the leader God had chosen to lead His people to the Promised Land. That leader was Joshua and Moses was explaining to the people that he would be a prophet whose task was to hear what God was telling His people and convey the same to them and nothing else. Also, he was not supposed to give anyone else’s instructions or commands to the people, other than God’s.

The Gospel proclamation is about perfect leadership, as shown by none other than the Lord Jesus. Since the beginning of the public ministry of our Lord, one thing was obvious to all who listened to Him and followed Him; the authority with which he spoke, taught and ministered. We can easily figure out why. The Lord Jesus only sought the will of His Father who sent Him on the mission, and did and said only what He saw and heard from the Father. His own words as given in John 5:19 explain thus: “The Son can do nothing by Himself, He can do only what He sees His Father doing because whatever the Father does, The Son also does.”

What was the result? The blind received sight, the deaf heard, the mute spoke, the lame leapt in joy, the sinners received forgiveness and joy, those who were ruled by evil spirits received deliverance and freedom, and the list goes on. Yes, the people were amazed at the authority with which the Lord Jesus spoke, but did they recognise His true leadership or true identity? If not, why? Didn’t God the Father describe His Son, Messiah, well in advance to His people? Yes, for centuries the people of God were prepared by the prophets about the coming of the Messiah. Then what made them not recognise their Saviour, after all those prophecies? The reason was that their minds were set on an identity formed by themselves about the Messiah, rather than God’s Word that described Him so clearly and in detail. The result was that the people of Israel chose to see the carpenter’s son (cf. Matthew 13:55), above and beyond all what they had heard from prophets and witnessed firsthand too.Yet, there was a category who recognised the true identity of the Lord Jesus, namely those from the spiritual realm. The an¬gels declared His arrival right at His birth when he was laid in the manger wrapped in swaddling clothes. The evil spirits also recognised Him as the Son of God and begged of Him not to destroy them. They not only recognised the Lord Jesus but also obeyed him, as they were powerless in his presence.

What about us? How do we identify the Lord Jesus in our lives? What role does He play in our day to day life and our family life? Is He a mere helper God to whom we cry out when our efforts fail? Or is He a God who is angry and needs to be pleased with our good works and good behaviour? We are invited to make a conscious choice today. St Paul says, “If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare His own Son but gave Him up for us all- how will He not also, along with Him, graciously give us all things?”(Romans 8:31-32). St Paul also says, “ .. neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation can separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:39). Our Lord Jesus promised, His disciples thus, “And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever-The Spirit of truth.”(John 14:16). The list goes on, introducing to us, God our Father, Lord Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit. The Word of God is the best guide available to us that helps us accept Christ as our Lord and surrender our lives to Him as it becomes real in our life. In this unlimited treasury, we find all we need for a life filled with peace, love, joy and freedom and absolute divine providence. “Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us..” (Ephesians 3:20)The only way is to move from a life lived ‘with Christ’ to ‘in Christ’. This is what the Four Steps Retreat offers us and helps us to begin a journey of a life lived in the Spirit 24/7. This was the secret of the lives of the apostles after the Pentecost, and of the early Christians, that challenged everyone around them and this is the need of the hour.

Prayer: Abba Father, You hold the depths of the earth in Your Hand, yet You also hold my life in Your mighty Hand. Give me the grace to hear Your voice and respond to it. Amen.

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