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Saturday, 30 January 2021 06:30

Celebrating At Home - 4th Sunday of Ordinary Time

Beginning the journey

Following directly from the call of the first four disciples in last week’s Gospel, this week we are plunged into the ministry of Jesus. The gospels of the 4th, 5th and 6th Sundays detail Jesus’ ministry in Capernaum.

Last Sunday the Gospel highlighted the disciples’ call to live and work in active partnership with Jesus. To become ‘fishers of people’ they left behind all that was known and familiar to them, including their thriving fishing businesses and families.

They took ‘a leap of faith’, not knowing where their journey with Jesus would take them.

Over the next three Sundays we get some insight into who Jesus is and what that journey is about.

Today’s gospel finds Jesus and the disciples arriving in Capernaum, a small town on the northern edge of the Sea of Galilee, which will be Jesus’ base for his ministry in Galilee.

On the Sabbath Jesus and the disciples attend the Sabbath service during which Jesus gives a teaching. His words strike the people as authentic and having the ‘ring of truth’ about them. Jesus’ words not only move the people but also release a man from an unclean spirit. Jesus’ action is in response to the question the man poses, ‘Have you come to destroy us?’ Rather than destroy, Jesus liberates the man from the unclean spirit, restoring him to health and wholeness.

Jesus’ way is not about crushing people with the power and authority of God, but about bringing freedom and liberation from the evil which holds them bound.

Many people are afraid of God, but Jesus keeps saying and showing that we don’t need to be afraid of God. God is about doing good for his people, not about punishing them. God’s power heals, restores and frees so that we can grow into the people God has always dreamed we might become.

The disciples are learning something new about who God is through the words and actions of Jesus. There is a call here to greater faith and trust in the goodness of God.

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Celebrating at Home is a Liturgy of the Word centred around the Gospel reading for each Sunday. It includes a reflection on the Gospel and prayers.

It can be used personally or with your family. Parts for all to pray are given in bold print and all the other parts can be shared among those present.

We hope that Celebrating at Home will be a source of nourishment and strength for all who use it.

In the room you decide to use for this prayer you could have a lighted candle, a crucifix and the Bible. These symbols help keep us mindful of the sacredness of our time of prayer and can help us feel connected with our local worshipping communities.

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