Fourth Sunday of the Year
Deut 18:15-20; 1 Cor 7:32-35; Mk 1:21-28 (Year B)
“Your God will raise up for you a prophet like myself, from among yourselves; to him you must listen.” These words were spoken by Moses to the tribes of Israel as they were about to take possession of the Promised Land. They were, at the same time, words of caution and of promise. They were cautionary words because Moses would not live to accompany this people into the Land. Throughout the years of wandering he had become their undisputed intermediary with the God. Through Moses, they had received the Commandments, the clearest expression of God’s saving will for his people.
Moses had led them through the darkest days. The people trusted in Moses, because they had come to realise that God spoke clearly to him, as to a friend. This same Moses now cautioned them against the many false voices that they would encounter in their new home. Who would be their way to God when Moses was no more? Thus Moses promised that the Lord would raise up, from among them, a prophet like himself: “I will put my words into his mouth, and he shall tell them all that I command them.”
Such was the promise made to Moses, a promise awaiting fulfilment in the concluding verses of the Book of Deuteronomy: “Since then, never has there been such a prophet in Israel as Moses, the man the Lord knew face to face.”
Sinful humanity has always been vulnerable to the blandishments of false gods. Despite Moses, the children of Israel had bowed down to a golden calf. Each and every generation raises up new idols. They take on different names, but always come down to the pride that would put itself in the place of God. We long to know God’s will, but are easily distracted by false voices.
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