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4th Sunday of Ordinary Time
Year B
January 31, 2021
Anne Osdieck

First Reading
Deuteronomy 18:15-20

1. Pope Francis said the following about prophets, in an America Magazine interview led by Antonio Spadaro, SJ:

Being prophets may sometimes imply making waves. I do not know how to put it. ... Prophecy makes noise, uproar, some say “a mess.” But in reality, the charism of religious people is like yeast: prophecy announces the spirit of the Gospel.

A Big Heart Open to God” America Magazine, Sept. 30, 2013
(Section: A Religious Order Pope)

Can you think of people who have caused an “uproar” or made “a mess” announcing the spirit of the Gospel in our time? Who are they? Today, who is “making noise” about racial bias? Climate change?

2. Does God raise ordinary people from our midst to become prophets? Is there a cause for which you might become a prophet?

Second Reading

1 Corinthians 7:32-35

1. Paul says, “Brothers and sisters: I should like you to be free of anxieties.” Who has anxieties of one kind or the other? Might everyone living today have them?

2. What are the anxieties you feel most? Do you have a way to deal with them? What virtue do you think might help most in your attempts to control anxieties?

Mark 1:21-28

1. Jesus “taught them as one having authority and not as the scribes.” Was there an incident that confirmed Jesus’ teaching and showed people its authenticity? If you can’t have absolute confirmation, as they did, will trust work for you? Explain.

2. On Jan 6, 2018, sixty-four African migrants died due to the shipwreck in the Mediterranean after a trafficker’s overcrowded rubber dinghy started taking on water. Today's Gospel says that, “the unclean spirit convulsed him and with a loud cry came out of him.” Would you call human trafficking one of today’s “unclean spirits” that needs to “come out of [them]” as in the Gospel? What are some other ones?

Anne Osdieck

Art by Martin (Steve) Erspamer, OSB
from Religious Clip Art for the Liturgical Year (A, B, and C). This art may be reproduced only by parishes who purchase the collection in book or CD-ROM form. For more information go