4th Sunday in Ordinary Time
My grandmother lived with us for nine months of the year when I was growing up. She was a disciplinarian, always seeing that we behaved, did our chores, and corrected us when needed. She was also loving, merciful, and a woman of faith, encouraging us to sing hymns and pray. The dictionary states that authority is twofold: one who governs and rules and the other who influences. My grandmother was both. My siblings and I did not get much past her. She spoke her truth, and we listened.
In the first reading, Moses is the authority between God and the Israelites. Never proclaimed a prophet in the books of the Pentateuch, he is prophetic in his words: I will raise up for them a prophet like you, and he shall tell them all that I command, establishing a permanent line of communication between God and his people.
In the gospel, we find the disciples traveling to Capernaum with Jesus. The gospel validates Jesus’ power and authority. The disciples, many fishermen by trade, dropped their nets to follow Jesus. The people in the synagogue were astonished, for he taught them as one having authority and not as the scribes. Even the unclean spirit in the man listened and obeyed.
Saint Peter Julian Eymard was a significant influencer of his time, leading the poor of Paris, men, and women, to Jesus in the Eucharist. We ask ourselves, how does Jesus in the Eucharist influence us? Do people follow us and trust in our words and actions?
In the Eucharist, we are united with Jesus and with others; sins are forgiven, souls are nourished, joy is received, and we are called forth with authority to be God’s influencers.
Who will you influence today?
Come, let us bow down in worship: let us kneel before the Lord who made us. For he is our God, and we are the people he shepherds, the flock he guides. If today, you hear his voice, harden not your hearts. (Psalm 95:6-7)