4 TH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY – “Shut up, and leave this person, will you!”
That’s not quite Mark’s version of what Jesus said in the gospel today, but it is close enough.
Jesus was not very patient with evil spirits within people. In today’s gospel, we have Jesus’ first miracle
in Mark’s Gospel. It is significant that he confronts evil head on and with a powerful spirit of authority
that just amazes the people in the synagogue as he cast out the evil spirit.
Don’t you wish that sometimes we could have that same sort of authority to drive the “evil
spirits” out of people who are troublesome to us or to other people. Just to be able to tell them to be
quiet and get out of here would feel so good! But we must be patient with those who disagree with us,
and not be disagreeable. Perhaps based on Jesus’ response to evil, we might pray to our Lord to provide
the grace needed for people who are saying evil things to really have a change of heart and let Jesus
heal them of their animosity and hatefulness.
Even more important would be the effort on our part to cast out any evil spirits within our own
heart and soul – to temper our negative language and ideas about others we disagree with. When we
give negativity and hateful thoughts a place to lodge within our being, they can really take over. If that
happens, we really need Jesus to tell those evil thoughts and feelings within us, “Shut up, and leave me,
FEAST OF ST. BLAISE, Feb. 3, Wednesday this week
During 8am Mass this Wednesday, we have the Blessing of Throats on the Feast of St. Blaise, as
a single blessing for the congregation, not individual blessings as usual before COVID protocols.
Saint Blaise was a bishop in Armenia in the fourth century, still in the time of Roman
persecutions. Before being martyred, he is said to have healed a boy who was choking. Eventually he
was venerated as the patron of those suffer from diseases of the throat. The blessing of St. Blaise is a
sign of our faith in God’s protection and love for us and for the sick, and hopefully also for those
suffering from breathing problems due to the corona virus.
FOLLOW-UP ON “THE WORD OF GOD” HOMILY
Last Sunday in my homily I encouraged every Catholic to make sure they have their own Bible to
read and pray with. One parish member e-mailed back that she just ordered two New American Bibles
for her and her husband. But more interestingly, she discovered that Ascension Press.com offers bible
studies online for those who would rather shelter-in-place during the pandemic, than coming up here
for Bible Study. Also she suggested the Catholic Daily Readings Phone App – “very quick and easy to
use.” Just FYI.
PRAYER DURING OUR PANDEMIC
Lord Jesus, hear our pleas, O good shepherd and divine physician. We implore your mercy in the
wake of this serious illness of the corona virus. Guide our efforts to prevent further spread of this
contagion and make greater efforts to care for those most vulnerable. Assist all medical professionals
and volunteers who work in our hospital intensive care units, striving to save those afflicted and in
danger of dying. Help all those working to eradicate this persistent illness through the distribution of the
vaccine. May our actions be marked by your steadfast love and selfless service, and never by panic or
Bestow your comfort and healing upon the sick; sustain and strengthen them by your grace.
May they know your closeness as they carry the cross of illness. And may all you have called from this
life come to worship you eternally with all the saints as you grant consolation and peace to their