Sunday, February 1, 2015

4th Sunday in Ordinary Time - Mark 1:21-28 - "The Voice"

“If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts”

There is so much noise in the world.  Everywhere we turn we are bombarded with messages: sights, sounds – ever more bright and dazzling, ever more spectacular and overwhelming – ever more daring and innovative - each elbowing the other out of the way - to grab hold of our attention for even the briefest of moments.  Each voice shouting proclamations to be the best, the newest, the most authoritative, the most profound, most informed – the decisive, absolutely definitive, latest word of ‘a new truth’ for the new age.  It is an upsurge of noise, a crescendo – up to full volume – that has become our constant background of life.

And within each message there is an air of knowing; an assertion of sophistication, an aura of superiority that intimates, “If you fail to agree with this message of ‘a new truth’; you are naïve, uninformed, out-of-step, uncool, unhip, not one on the cutting edge with ‘the in-crowd’.”  Many voices claim authority of being the newest voice of ‘a new truth’ leading others to confusion and hesitation; sowing seeds of doubt, suspicion and mistrust -sprouting into weeds of disbelief. 

The plethora of channels of mass media communication, especially through the internet, with its tools enabling everyone to communicate with everyone else, - has further increased this noise level of ‘a new truth’: creating a wasteland; a vast desert, a new wilderness of bewilderment and over stimulation, where nothing is really heard amid the mind-numbing discord. 

All this noise makes it increasingly crucial to listen to the one voice that speaks with real authority – the one voice that speaks with real truth – the one voice that even demons recognize as the one true voice of ‘The Truth’ and obey His commands.  The voice of the Son of God, Jesus Christ.  He is the one who speaks ‘The Truth’ with real authority.  The one of whom God spoke to Moses, saying, “I will put my words into his mouth and he shall tell them all that I command.”

Jesus speaks to the people
Jesus is the one who speaks with real authority, unlike the scribes who cited scripture to authenticate their teaching.  Their teachings always began, “There is a teaching that says . . . or “It says in the book . . .” while Jesus spoke in the first person: “I say to you love your enemy and always pray for them.” or, “I give you a new commandment: Love one another as I love you.”

By His voice alone Jesus brought healing to the afflicted and restored life.  He cured the blindness of Bartimaeus, the withered hand of the man in the synagogue and the paralysis of the man lowered from the roof by His words alone.  Jesus’ voice commanded Lazarus to come out and the little girl to awake.  

Jesus’ voice is the only voice we need to hear.  His is the voice of the Father, the voice of ‘The Truth’ of God’s love and promise of salvation, the voice that breaks through all the noise made by man.

By the voice of Jesus Christ we are healed of our afflictions.  
By His voice alone we are forgiven our sins.  
It is in His voice that we receive eternal life and are welcomed into the Kingdom of the Father.  

“If today you hear His voice, harden not your hearts” 

Let the voice of Jesus continue to bring healing and forgiveness; light and life, peace and love into the world. ~Amen

Deacon Don

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