Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Today is the Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time.  The Gospel passage from Mark is about the cure of the man with an unclean spirit.  In Mark’s Gospel, this is the first action of Jesus in his public ministry after calling some of his disciples.  But even though the story shows Jesus’ power over an evil spirit, the focus of the Gospel centers around the teaching authority of Jesus.  The Gospel account begins by saying: “The people were astonished at his teaching, for he taught them as one having authority and not as the scribes.”  The passage ends with the words, “What is this?  A new teaching with authority.”  Those present experience Jesus teaching not only through his words, but, in this case, through his interaction with the unclean spirit.  His action was an announcement, so to speak, that God has the power to triumph over evil; “even the unclean spirits… obey him.”  It is also testimony that God’s kingdom is “breaking into” the world, into our humanity.  God’s reign, Christ’s triumph over evil, and the Spirit’s gifts are daily in our midst.  If we are attentive (really open our eyes) and listen, we can testify to the continued teaching authority of Jesus in our midst.  Like Jesus, we are called to evangelize others through our actions.  We are the Body of Christ.  When we live lives worthy of our calling, others come to know and experience Christ by our words and our actions.  When we allow Jesus to touch our hearts and remove anything that is evil from them, others see the authority and power of God at work.  As we further reflect upon the Gospel this coming week, let us ask ourselves: Where have I seen the “breaking in” of the kingdom of God in my life?  How have I experienced the teaching authority of Jesus this past week?                  

Just a reminder: I mentioned in last week’s bulletin, as requested by the Parish Pastoral Council, Father Jim is doing a teaching Mass in two parts, beginning this weekend.  Please note that there are two inserts (provided by Father Jim) included in the bulletin today.  They are entitled: Believe, Celebrate, Live the Eucharist.  One is sub-titled Gathering and the other is subtitled The Liturgy of the Word.   I encourage you and your families to take time to read them as they are a great supplement to what Father Jim will be sharing with us.  We are very blessed to have him not only as our sacramental minister, but also as a liturgical expert in our midst (Director of the Office of Liturgy) who is willing to share his gifts with us.  Thank you, Father Jim!

Both the February and March Liturgical Minister Schedules are included in today’s bulletin.  [Last weekend the February schedule was included in the bulletin].  Please make sure you remove the schedule insert so you can post it in a prominent place at home.  The March schedule will be placed in the bulletin again later in February.  Schedules are posted on the two bulletin boards at the side entrances to Church.  Also, lists of current liturgical ministers and the days on which they are willing to serve are posted on the bulletin board nearest the sacristy entrance (in case you need to get a substitute).

The bishop’s monthly holy hour will take place at Corpus Christi Parish, Saint Hedwig Church site, in Bay City on Tuesday, February 3 at 7:00 PM.

On Wednesday of this week, there will be a joint meeting of the Parish Pastoral Council and the Finance Council.  They will be doing some strategic planning together.  There will be a summary in next week’s bulletin.  The members of the Pastoral Council are listed in the bulletin.  The members of the Finance Council are: Greg Dupuis, Mike Kowalski, Bill Menzl, Bob Miklosovic, Barb Taylor, Kathy Tetloff, and Helen Weitzman               

Blessings on your week!
Sister Chris Gretka, CSJ