Fourth Sunday of Ordinary Time, Year B, 28th January 2024

O that today you would listen to his voice! Harden not your hearts.

The readings this week reflect the Psalm response: O that today you would listen to his voice! Harden not your heart. This was the response of the Israelites when they grumbled at Meribah and Massah in the desert.

In the First Reading, Moses promises the tribes of Israel that the Lord will send them a prophet like himself, coming from within their midst, who will speak God’s words.

We meet this prophet in the Gospel. It is Jesus himself, who amazes his audience in the synagogue by curing a man possessed by an unclean spirit. They are particularly impressed by Christ’s quiet authority.

In the Second Reading, Paul seeks to reassure his audience in Corinth. They are worrying about marriage in the wider context of the end of time, which they think is imminent. They, too, must give their undivided attention to the Lord and ensure everything is as it should be.

This week, we might like to spend some quiet time with the Lord, perhaps resting in him without words and listening to his voice in the silence of our heart. He knows and understands our problems, and our great yearning for peace throughout the world.