Reflection for Tuesday, January 12, 1999: 1st week in Ordinary Time.

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Stockhausen, Gerry, S.J.
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We're back in ordinary time after our celebration of Advent, Christmas, and Epiphany, but our readings continue our reflection on the mystery of the incarnation. The Letter to the Hebrews reminds us that there are two ways in which the incarnation is not an isolated event. First, God taking human flesh in Jesus is only the beginning of the story. Jesus also suffered, died, and rose again to the glory of God. Second, Jesus did not do this all by himself, but in order to bring all humankind with him to share in the glory of God.||That abstract good news is made concrete in the second reading taken from the very first chapter of Mark's Gospel. Who is Jesus? He is one who teaches with authority-John the Evangelist will say he is in fact the Word of God made flesh. And he is the one who heals. He has the power to do marvelous deeds, but he does not do them as a magician might-to impress and entertain. He does them in order to free people from bondage to the power of evil. And even though the evil spirit calls Jesus by name (knowing another's name gives one power or leverage over that person), Jesus still has the stronger medicine because he is filled with the Holy Spirit and longs to bring people out of slavery to freedom.|Thus, in word and deed Jesus demonstrates that "the long reign of sin is ended." We share in the incarnation by sharing in the work of Jesus so that all humankind may share in the glory of God. We allow the power of God to free us from bondage to our various addictions, timidity, and weakness. At the same time we rededicate ourselves ourselves to work to free others from the bondage of poverty and powerlessness.
University Ministry, Creighton University.
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