Deuteronomy 18: 15-20 – 1 Corinthians 7: 32-35 – Mark 1: 21-28
According to the account that is presented to us in the Gospel of Mark, Jesus received a favorable response, at least from most in attendance at the synagogue where he spoke. We are told that they were “amazed” because his approach was different from what they had experienced from those who had been teaching them all their lives
What was different? Those who were present at the synagogue had heard, time and again, what they were required to do. Apparently, though, those who constantly repeated this to them did not reflect what they taught in the way that they lived. Other Gospel writers report that Jesus readily called them hypocrites. On the other hand, Jesus would not only teach, he would also act as well. In this particular instance, the man who was possessed, who was mentally disturbed, was restored to health by the presence and action of Jesus.
That was then. What about now, in our world today? The presence of Jesus Christ in the world is to be found in us. The Body of Christ in the world today is us, the Church We are not only to speak the words, but we are also to act in accordance with these words. In fact, how we live out our Faith is to be “amazing.”
Both word and action are essential to what we are and what we are to be as believing Christians. It all begin here and now in what we are doing as we gather for the Eucharist. We hear our God speak to us in the Scriptures. Then God acts for us in the sharing of the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist. For these moments, then, we experience the amazing love of our God in both word and action. But it does not end there. We are to go forth from here to act in response to our belief, nourished by the loving word of our God as well as nourished by the Real Presence of our God we receive.
We go forth into our world to carry out the ministry of Christ. As the Body of Christ in our world today, we are to show in our lives sentiments such as those we heard expressed from Moses. The presence of God is to be experienced in our own daily lives not in thunder and lightening, not in fire and smoke, but in the healing and reconciling lives of the Gospel being lived.
How that presence of God is to be shown in our lives can also be learned from the counsels of Paul that we have heard. We are to be free from anxieties about immediate concerns because our values about what is truly important are are derived from a conviction of God’s love demonstrated in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ on our behalf. It is this overall conviction of faith and trust in God that guides us in knowing that there is nothing in this world that is to distract us from our God.
People were amazed to hear Jesus teach. They were amazed that he did matched what he said by the healing of one who was so painfully disturbed. So it is to be with us, the Body of Christ in the world today as We are to speak and to act in our live in what might be considered amazing ways in reflecting the reality of a good and gracious God.