01-31-2021Weekly ReflectionFr. Arul Doss

Dear People of God,

How are you all? Hope, you are well and healthy. I am praying for you all every day. On this fourth Sunday of ordinary time, the Liturgy of Word of God continues to encourage us to listen attentively to Christ our savior. Jesus is our teacher who speaks with authority.

Our first reading from the Book of Deuteronomy is one of those passages in the bible referred to as the messianic prophesies. Through this prophecy from Moses, God promised us the messiah. This promise was fulfilled in Christ. On his own part, Christ called authentic ministers to be his prophet. So, we need to pay attention to these authentic prophets. Hence: “Those who will not listen to the words of the prophet…shall be answerable to me for it.”

Unfortunately, today there are many who claim to be God’s prophets. God knew this beforehand that such false prophets will arise. The question is, how do we know and distinguish false prophets? Matthew gives us a clue: “Beware of false prophets…You will know them by their fruits” (Mt 7: 15-20). So, this calls for vigilance, discernment and paying attention the church.

In today’s gospel, we see that in contrast to the scribes and Pharisees, Jesus taught to the people with authority. This was not based on worldly credentials, or his ability to cite precedents. His only credential was that he is the Son of God. His authority came from his father. Hence, a true prophet should rely principally on God.

Therefore, it is important that we discern every prophecy and evaluate them based on the word of God in the scriptures. Whatever is against the plain sense of the scripture, or any prophesy that promotes unhealthy life style and shallow spirituality, obviously cannot be from God. Unfortunately, even an authentic prophet can also err. Surely, he can, when a he loses focus, and becomes very proud. When he stops listing to Christ, he begins to listen to himself. Then, in order to make up for his emptiness, he gives his own word in God’s name.

So, let us continue to listen to Jesus. Let us pay attention always to the many ways that God comes into our lives. Let us seek to be faithful to the voice of the Lord as it comes to us in Scripture and in the Church. Let us pay attention to the things of God and rejoice when God sends us the strength to be faithful.

Peace be with You! Have a Happy Sunday!!

Yours in Christ Jesus,
Fr. Doss