Ministry opportunity of the week (repeated from last week): Catholic Schools Week kicks off this Sunday, January 28, with an open house after the 10:15 Mass until 1:00. Please attend, learn about our school, and ask about opportunities to serve on committees, volunteer in the school, etc. This important ministry of our community needs our support in time, talent, and prayer, as well as the financial support we give it.
Thank you for your prayers last weekend for our candidate program in Racine. It went very well. The next one is the weekend of February 10-11 (to get the February one in before Ash Wednesday) and Fr. Peter will once again celebrate the Masses.
This coming weekend will be the kickoff for the Catholic Stewardship Appeal 2018 with the theme Dare to Lead. This appeal funds ministries that serve families, strengthen parishes, support schools, and form priests and parish leaders within the Archdiocese of Milwaukee. It deserves our support. Watch for the appeal in your mail in the near future and please be generous.
In our Gospel Mark presents Jesus’ first steps in ministry as proclaiming that the Kingdom of God is at hand and inviting people to repent and believe in the Gospel; calling some of His first followers; preaching in the synagogue; and curing a man possessed by a demon. The first two we heard last week; the second two are our Gospel this weekend.
In the synagogue on the Sabbath, after an opening prayer, any male could get up and speak about a scripture passage, which is what Jesus did. The people were captivated because He “taught them as one having authority, and not like the scribes.”
Sincethe scribes were the ones who had the “official” authority, people were captivated by a personal authority that came from who Jesus was and how he conducted Himself. The scribes used their authority to lord it over people; Jesus used it to heal and cure, to drive away evil. His authority was a healing authority, not a controlling authority. The scribes would have thrown the MAN with the unclean spirit out of the synagogue; Jesus cast out the unclean spirit, not the man.
The message to us is this: whatever power or authority the Lord has given us, whether it be from a position we hold or our personality and talents, it is given to be used for the good of others, not to exercise control and build ourselves up (which is the way of the world).
Lord, thank you for the gifts you have given me. Help me to use them for others. And let us support each other in prayer.
-- Paul James Portland, SDS