Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time – Sister Anne Louise Nadeau, SNDdeN

Jan 24, 2024 | Gospel Reflections

January 28, 2024

Mark 1: 21-28

The last thing that Jesus wanted was popularity notoriety and front-page headlines. He had come among us to reveal a goodness and a mercy never before experienced by the many others who had come before him.

What Jesus was teaching was important…but not more important than his actions, attitude and openness to the ordinary, struggling people who sought him out.

The learned and clever rabbinical teaching style of questions after question was not one that Jesus used; rather he was clear, simple, direct, used stories and everyday examples that the people in the synagogues, hillsides, seashores, mountains, and dinner tables could easily understand.

In today’s Gospel from Mark, someone of the worshipping community called out from those gathered: “Jesus of Nazareth” (which was true) and the “Holy one of God” (also true). The author of Mark used the phrase ‘unclean spirit’, and depending on the translation, other words used to describe this person are “deranged”, “demented”, “insane”, or “possessed”. Jesus never labelled or judged that person. He simply gently said “Quiet! Come out of him.”

Jesus did not want to be singled out; he did not want his fame spread throughout the whole region of Galilee. He had come to reveal…not to be revered. He was a man who knew how to listen to the deep inner mystery of his life and to live accordingly. He became human to show us how to be both human and Godly. He was happiest when discussing the meaning of life, mercy, suffering, disillusionment, loss, grief, goodness and love.

In retrospect, we look at what Jesus is remembered for: the great dignity and respect he showed to those who did not matter much in the eyes of the powerful of his day, the ability to change his mind when confronted with powerful truths from women who were not afraid to speak up, the courage, forgiveness, and lack of judgement when faced with his own torture and murder.

And perhaps Jesus greatest legacy was the goodness he exuded during the short time he was among us.
Jesus expects nothing less from us.

 

Mark 1: 21-28

They went as far as Capernaum, and as soon as the sabbath came Jesus went to the synagogue and began to teach. And his teaching made a deep impression on them because, unlike the scribes, he taught them with authority.

In their synagogue just then there was a man possessed by an unclean spirit, and it shouted. “What do you want with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are: the Holy One of God.” But Jesus said sharply, “Be quiet! Come out of him!” And the unclean spirit threw the man into convulsions and with a loud cry went out of him.

The people were so astonished that they started asking each other what it all meant. “Here is a teaching that is new” they said “and with authority behind it: he gives orders even to unclean spirits and they obey him.” And his reputation rapidly spread everywhere, through all the surrounding Galilean countryside.

The Gospel of the Lord

 

 

Meet Sister Anne Louise Nadeau, SNDdeN

Anne Louise spent many years in higher education as campus minister, counselor, Director of the Personal Counseling Center and as Associate Dean of Students at Sacred Heart University, Bridgeport, CT. She also served on the Connecticut Leadership Team as well as co-coordinator of the SND/USA Anti-Racism Team. She was Case Management Supervisor at My Sister’s Place Women Center, a day shelter for homeless women and children in Baltimore City, Maryland. and served 8 years as Director of Programs at Pax Christi USA. Anne Louise currently works on a bi-racial team presenting, facilitating and consulting with religious communities on dismantling racism within their Congregations.