January 29, 2012 Fourth Sunday after the Epiphany
FIRST READING: Deuteronomy 18:15-20
15Instead, he will choose one of your own people to be a prophet just like me, and you must do what that prophet says. 16You were asking for a prophet the day you were gathered at Mount Sinai and said to the LORD, “Please don’t let us hear your voice or see this terrible fire again if we do, we will die!”
17Then the LORD told me:
Moses, they have said the right thing. 18So when I want to speak to them, I will choose one of them to be a prophet like you. I will give my message to that prophet, who will tell the people exactly what I have said. 19Since the message comes from me, anyone who doesn’t obey the message will have to answer to me.
20But if I haven’t spoken, and a prophet claims to have a message from me, you must kill that prophet, and you must also kill any prophet who claims to have a message from another god.
PSALMODY: Psalm 111
1Shout praises to the LORD!
With all my heart I will thank the LORD
when his people meet.
2The LORD has done many wonderful things!
Everyone who is pleased with God’s marvelous deeds
will keep them in mind.
3Everything the LORD does is glorious and majestic,
and his power to bring justice will never end.
4The LORD God is famous for his wonderful deeds,
and he is kind and merciful.
5He gives food to his worshipers
and always keeps his agreement with them.
6He has shown his mighty power to his people
and has given them the lands of other nations.
7God is always honest and fair,
and his laws can be trusted.
8They are true and right and will stand forever.
9God rescued his people,
and he will never break his agreement with them.
He is fearsome and holy.
10Respect and obey the LORD!
This is the first step to wisdom and good sense.
God will always be respected.
SECOND READING: 1 Corinthians 8:1-13
In your letter you asked me about food offered to idols. All of us know something about this subject. But knowledge makes us proud of ourselves, while love makes us helpful to others. 2In fact, people who think they know so much don’t know anything at all. 3But God has no doubts about who loves him.
4Even though food is offered to idols, we know that none of the idols in this world are alive. After all, there is only one God. 5Many things in heaven and on earth are called gods and lords, but none of them really are gods or lords. 6We have only one God, and he is the Father. He created everything, and we live for him. Jesus Christ is our only Lord. Everything was made by him, and by him life was given to us.
7Not everyone knows these things. In fact, many people have grown up with the belief that idols have life in them. So when they eat meat offered to idols, they are bothered by a weak conscience. 8But food doesn’t bring us any closer to God. We are no worse off if we don’t eat, and we are no better off if we do.
9Don’t cause problems for someone with a weak conscience, just because you have the right to eat anything. 10You know all this, and so it doesn’t bother you to eat in the temple of an idol. But suppose a person with a weak conscience sees you and decides to eat food that has been offered to idols. 11Then what you know has destroyed someone Christ died for. 12When you sin by hurting a follower with a weak conscience, you sin against Christ. 13So if I hurt one of the LORD’S followers by what I eat, I will never eat meat as long as I live.
GOSPEL: Mark 1:21-28
21Jesus and his disciples went to the town of Capernaum. Then on the next Sabbath he went into the Jewish meeting place and started teaching. 22Everyone was amazed at his teaching. He taught with authority, and not like the teachers of the Law of Moses. 23Suddenly a man with an evil spirit in him entered the meeting place and yelled, 24“Jesus from Nazareth, what do you want with us? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are! You are God’s Holy One.”
25Jesus told the evil spirit, “Be quiet and come out of the man!” 26The spirit shook him. Then it gave a loud shout and left.
27Everyone was completely surprised and kept saying to each other, “What is this? It must be some new kind of powerful teaching! Even the evil spirits obey him.” 28News about Jesus quickly spread all over Galilee.