Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time, January 31: Anxiety, a Sunday Scriptures blog

In our second reading this Sunday, Paul says, I should like you to be free from anxieties (1 Cor 7:32-35). We are still in our anxiety-driven COVID year. The disease itself has been bad enough, but its collateral damage is also hugely anxiety-producing — the economic consequences for many people, the grief, the isolation, the length of the struggle. It is hard to adhere to the Lord without distraction, as Paul advises, when anxiety is so high. Anxiety knows no age — children can be anxious just as much as senior citizens can be anxious … anxiety seems to be universal and ubiquitous. We need to help one another, to pay attention to signs of anxiety in each other. And we need to use the special resource of our faith by calling on the power of the incarnate Lord living in each of us. In our Gospel reading today, the evangelist Mark is showing his readers that Jesus is more than a compelling rabbi or even a prophet. Jesus teaches with authority and then he expels a demon. Who is this, people ask, who commands and unclean spirits must obey him? This is a powerful Jesus. Later in his ministry, after his apostles have learned from him, Jesus gave them power to expel demons like he did. We have that power within us too by our baptism. What are the demons of anxiety that I ask Jesus to expel this week through his power, given to me?

– Blog entry by Sister Mary Garascia

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