Harden Not Your Hearts

Readings for Sunday, January 28 — Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Dt 18:15-20; Ps 95:1-2, 6-7, 7-9; 1 Cor 7:32-35; Mt 4:16; Mk 1:21-28 

Suggested Reflection Questions:

  • Through our baptism, we have all been called to be priest, prophet and king. None of these are simple tasks, but it’s particularly difficult to be a prophet. It’s been said that a prophet is never welcome in his or her hometown, and is either believed or killed. When/how have you responded to your call to be a prophet? How did people react to you?

  • In today’s psalm, we hear the imperative to not harden our hearts. In what ways is your heart hard? Toward who? In what ways are you hard with yourself? What steps do you think you can take to soften your heart, and how can Jesus help you?
  • What makes you anxious? How does it feel to know that God wants to help you become “free of anxieties”? How might you hand over some of your anxieties to God?
  • The story of the exorcism in today’s Gospel can sound pretty weird to our modern ears. Still, even today we all experience a voice of darkness from within — whether it be the voice of greed, anger, self-centeredness, or self-hatred. What shadow or inner darkness do you need God to take from you?