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4th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year B

Sunday January 31, 2027

Mass Readings for the 4th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year B

  • First ReadingDeuteronomy 18:15-20: Moses declares God's promise to raise a prophet like him from among the people. This prophet, carrying God's words, must be heeded, with consequences for false prophecy.
  • Responsorial PsalmPsalm 95: Let us joyfully praise the Lord, our salvation's rock. In worship, remember He is our creator and guide. Heed His voice today, avoiding the hardness of heart shown by our ancestors.
  • Second Reading1 Corinthians 7:32-35: The unmarried are encouraged to focus solely on pleasing the Lord, free from worldly distractions. Married individuals naturally divide attention between the Lord and their spouse. This advice is for undistracted devotion.
  • Gospel Mark 1:21-28: In Capernaum's synagogue, Jesus' authoritative teaching awed listeners, contrasting with the scribes. His authority was further displayed when He commanded an unclean spirit to exit a possessed man. The spirit's obedience, marked by convulsions and a loud cry, left the congregation amazed. They marveled at Jesus' powerful teachings and control over unclean spirits. This incident quickly elevated Jesus' reputation throughout Galilee.

All were amazed and asked one another, “What is this? A new teaching with authority. He commands even the unclean spirits and they obey him.”

Mark 1:27

Themes for the 4th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year B

The readings for the 4th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year B (see below) invite us to recognize Jesus and grant him authority in our lives. In the first reading, Moses foretells the coming of a mighty prophet. The Gospel tells how the people were amazed by the way Jesus taught with authority. The readings for the 4th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year B, encompass several interwoven themes that are central to Christian theology and spiritual life:

  • Prophetic Authority and Divine Truth: The first reading from Deuteronomy speaks of a prophet like Moses, emphasizing the importance of heeding true prophetic voices that convey God's will and truth. This theme of authoritative teaching is echoed in the Gospel, where Jesus' teachings are contrasted with those of the scribes.
  • Divine Guidance and Obedience: Psalm 95 calls for joyful praise and worship of God, recognizing Him as our creator and guide. It emphasizes listening to God's voice and avoiding the hard-heartedness of our ancestors, underscoring the importance of obedience to divine guidance.
  • Undistracted Devotion to God: The second reading from 1 Corinthians discusses the states of married and unmarried life, highlighting how the unmarried can focus more directly on pleasing the Lord. This theme of undistracted devotion is relevant to understanding different vocations and the ways they can lead to holiness.
  • The Authority of Jesus: The Gospel reading vividly demonstrates Jesus' divine authority, not just in teaching but also in his power over unclean spirits. His authority impresses and amazes the people, revealing him as a figure of divine power and wisdom.
  • Recognition of Christ's Power: The reaction of the congregation in the Gospel to Jesus' exorcism and teaching underlines the theme of recognizing and responding to Christ's power and authority. This response of amazement and the spread of Jesus' fame throughout Galilee are central to understanding the impact of Jesus' ministry.

These themes for the 4th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year B. collectively focus on the recognition and acceptance of divine authority, the call to obedient and joyful worship, the importance of discerning true prophetic voices, and the unique and powerful role of Jesus Christ in salvation history. They offer rich material for reflection on how Christians are called to respond to God’s word and authority in their everyday lives. See the Homilies and Reflections section and the More Thoughts section for further expansion on these readings and some reflection questions for the 4th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year B.

Resources for the 4th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year B

Sunday January 31, 2027

Melt My Ice Heart Game
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Melt My Ice Heart Game

This game, designed to address themes of stubbornness or belief, mirrors the message in the Responsorial Psalm for the 4th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year B. Just as the teams work to melt the ice, the Psalm encourages us to soften our hearts towards God's teachings, avoiding the hardness of heart exemplified by our ancestors. This game can serve as a playful yet profound reminder of the Psalm's call to heed God's voice and embrace His guidance with open, malleable hearts, symbolized by the melting ice, transforming resistance into receptive faith.

Who Has Authority Lesson Plan on Authority
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Who Has Authority? Discussion and Reflection Questions

This reflection on authority in the lives of youth, particularly in the context of the Gospel for the 4th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year B, emphasizes recognizing and accepting legitimate sources of authority. The Gospel demonstrates Jesus' authority through his teaching and power over unclean spirits, inviting us to consider the sources of authority we listen to and follow. The reflection encourages seeking a deeper understanding of the Church's teachings, rooted in thousands of years of wisdom and the guidance of the Holy Spirit, and compares this to the influences of friends, social media, and culture.

Leaders We Love
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Leaders We Love – Youth Ministry Activity

The Leaders We Love activity, designed to help youth identify qualities of good leaders, closely relates to the Gospel for the 4th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year B. In this Gospel, Jesus exemplifies authoritative leadership, demonstrating qualities that the youth can identify and admire. His compassionate teaching and power over unclean spirits show traits like confidence, wisdom, and the ability to inspire and influence others. By examining the qualities of leaders they admire, young people can draw parallels to Jesus' leadership in the Gospel. This activity not only helps them understand what makes an effective leader but also encourages them to reflect on how Jesus’ leadership style can be a model in their own lives.

the gospel of st mark
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Resources and Reflections for the Gospel of Mark

In the Gospel for the 4th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year B, Mark's fast-paced narrative style is evident as it showcases Jesus' powerful ministry, beginning with His proclamation as the Son of God. This Gospel, like Mark's overall approach, focuses on key moments that reveal Jesus' divine authority and mission. In this particular reading, Jesus' authority is demonstrated vividly as He teaches in the synagogue and exorcises an unclean spirit. Through these narratives, Mark illustrates Jesus' profound impact, authority over both spiritual and physical realms, and the transformative power of His message. The Gospel encapsulates the essence of Mark’s storytelling – highlighting significant moments that underline Jesus’ divine authority and mission.

Homilies and Reflections for the 4th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year B

Sunday January 31, 2027

A Future Prophet

Jeff Cavins discusses the readings for the 4th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year B, emphasizing Jesus as the prophesied authority figure from Deuteronomy 18. He highlights Jesus' unique teaching style, which differed from contemporary rabbis, as Jesus spoke with personal authority, as the Word of God itself. Cavins connects this with the Gospel reading from Mark, where Jesus demonstrates authority over unclean spirits. He concludes with a reference to Paul's advice in 1 Corinthians about undivided devotion, urging listeners to give their full attention to Jesus' teachings, particularly during Mass, honoring Him as the authoritative prophet promised in the Old Testament.

Why Be Catholic and Not Just Christian?

In Fr. Mike Schmitz's discussion, he highlights the key difference between the Catholic Church and other Christian denominations as 'authority.' He emphasizes the Church's authoritative ability to teach and establish doctrine, rooted in Jesus's establishment of the Church and granting of authority to Peter in Matthew 16. This authority is visible in the Church's structure and hierarchy, as demonstrated in Acts 15, where the Church decides on doctrinal matters. Schmitz argues that this authority is essential for interpreting the infallible Bible correctly, preventing misunderstandings and misinterpretations, akin to the clarity and authority Jesus demonstrates in the Gospel for the 4th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year B.

A Prophet Greater than Moses

In Bishop Robert Barron's homily for the 4th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year B, he focuses on the authority of Jesus as the prophet greater than Moses, as foretold in Deuteronomy. He explains Moses's unique role in the Old Testament and how Jesus surpasses this, teaching with his own authority, or "exousia," meaning substance. Barron highlights Jesus' teaching style in the synagogue, contrasting it with the scribes who rely on external authorities. He also delves into the encounter with the unclean spirit, illustrating Jesus' divine authority in action. Jesus is more than a moral teacher; he is the fulfillment of the prophecy, revealing his divinity through his teachings and actions, urging us to recognize and embrace Jesus's true identity.

The King’s Authority

Scott Hahn reflects on the 4th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year B, emphasizing Jesus' exercise of divine authority over evil, particularly on the sabbath, a symbol of God's covenant and deliverance. He interprets the encounter with the unclean spirit as a sign of Jesus' role as the new creator and liberator from evil. Hahn compares Jesus' rebuking of the demon to God's acts of creation and deliverance in the Old Testament. He identifies Jesus as the prophet foretold by Moses, come to rebuke evil and sanctify us, resonating with Paul's message of holiness. Hahn concludes by encouraging us to listen to Jesus' voice in the liturgy.

More Thoughts for the 4th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year B

Embracing the Prophetic Voice

The first reading from Deuteronomy introduces a powerful theme: the prophetic voice that speaks with God's authority. This voice, as promised by God, is one like Moses, who would lead and guide the people in truth. In our own lives, recognizing and embracing this prophetic voice is crucial. It’s not just about listening to words; it’s about an encounter with the divine truth. The challenge lies in discerning who, in our time, carries this mantle of truth.

We are surrounded by many voices claiming authority – in media, in politics, in our communities. How do we recognize the true prophetic voice? The key is in its alignment with the teachings of Christ and the Church, and its fruits in love, justice, and peace. Embracing the prophetic voice means allowing it to challenge and transform us, leading us closer to God.

Speaking from Real Life

Jesus' way of teaching starkly contrasts with that of the scribes, as seen in the Gospel reading. The scribes, though knowledgeable, lacked the ability to connect deeply with the common people. Their teachings often hovered in the realm of theory, detached from the lived realities of those they were meant to guide. Jesus, on the other hand, spoke from real life. His authority was rooted not just in knowledge but in experience and empathy. He spoke of the Kingdom of God using parables and examples that resonated with the everyday experiences of His listeners.

This approach made His teachings accessible and transformative. It wasn't about complicated theological arguments but about truth presented in a way that reached hearts and minds. In our own lives, when we share our faith with others, are we speaking from real life? Do we connect our understanding of God’s word with the practical realities people face every day? Speaking from real life means making faith relevant and accessible, just as Jesus did.

The Call to Undistracted Devotion

Paul’s message in the second reading from 1 Corinthians presents a compelling call to undistracted devotion to the Lord. He contrasts the concerns of married and unmarried individuals, highlighting how the latter can focus more fully on God. This is not a denouncement of marriage but rather an invitation to consider how our states of life can best be oriented towards God.

For the married, it is a challenge to find balance – to love and serve their families while keeping God at the center. For the unmarried, it's an opportunity to use their freedom for greater devotion and service.

Paul’s advice is timeless: our primary focus, regardless of our state in life, should be on pleasing the Lord. This call to undistracted devotion is a reminder to assess our priorities and attachments. Are they leading us closer to God, or are they pulling us away? In a world filled with distractions, this message is more relevant than ever. We are called to a devotion that is undivided, a heart that seeks God first in all things.

These readings collectively invite us to a deeper understanding of our faith. They challenge us to discern and embrace the true voice of God, to speak and live our faith authentically, and to orient our lives towards undistracted devotion to God. The message for the 4th Sunday in Ordinary Time is not just about listening to these themes but about integrating them into our daily lives, allowing them to shape our actions, our relationships, and our understanding of what it means to be a follower of Christ.

Reflection Questions for the 4th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year B

  • How do I discern the true prophetic voices in my life, and how do they align with the teachings of Christ and the Church?
  • In what ways can I embrace and respond to the prophetic voice to bring about transformation in my personal and community life?
  • Reflecting on Jesus' teaching style, how can I make my own faith sharing more relatable and grounded in real-life experiences?
  • How do differences between Jesus' and the scribes' approaches to teaching challenge my understanding of authority and humility in spiritual leadership?
  • In what ways can I incorporate Jesus' method of simple and clear communication of the truth into my daily interactions?
  • How does my current state of life (married, unmarried, religious, etc.) influence my devotion to God, and what steps can I take to focus more on pleasing Him?
  • What are the distractions or concerns in my life that may be hindering my undistracted devotion to God, and how can I address them?
  • In what practical ways can I balance my responsibilities to others while keeping God at the center of my life?
  • How can reflecting on Jesus' authority and teachings in the Gospel transform the way I see myself, my community, and my role in the Kingdom of God?
  • What are the "real-life" examples and experiences that I can share with others to bring the message of the Gospel alive in today's world?

Quotes and Social Media Graphics for the 4th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year B

If you use the images below in any form, you must provide attribution to See details.

words into his mouth
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I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their kindred, and will put my words into the mouth of the prophet; the prophet shall tell them all that I command.
4th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year B
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Jesus teaching in the synagogue. The 4th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year B.

Music Suggestions for the 4th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year B

Sunday January 31, 2027

For the 4th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year B, music selections should reflect the themes of divine authority, prophetic voices, and the power of Jesus over evil. Consider incorporating hymns that emphasize the majesty and sovereignty of God, as well as the power of Christ's teachings and miracles. Melodies that evoke a sense of awe and reverence would be fitting, aligning with the Gospel's portrayal of Jesus' authoritative teaching. Additionally, incorporating reflective and meditative music can help the congregation contemplate their response to God’s call and Jesus' role as the prophesied savior.

Frequently Asked Questions for the 4th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year B

What date is the 4th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year B?

The next date is Sunday January 31, 2027.
For other years see the links below:
4th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A: Sunday February 1, 2026
4th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year C: Sunday January 30, 2028

What are the Mass readings for the 4th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year B?

The Mass readings for Sunday January 31, 2027 are:
First Reading – Deuteronomy 18:15-20: Prophecy of a Future Prophet
Responsorial Psalm – Psalm 95: Heed the Lord's Voice
Second Reading – 1 Corinthians 7:32-35: Undivided Devotion to the Lord
Gospel – Mark 1:21-28: Authority Over Spirits

What are the main themes of the readings for the 4th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year B?

The readings focus on prophetic authority, obedience to God’s word, undistracted devotion to the Lord, and the unique authority of Jesus Christ.

What lesson can we learn from Jesus' encounter with the unclean spirit in the Gospel for the 4th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year B?

This encounter teaches us about the power and authority of Jesus over evil and the spiritual realm, encouraging us to trust in His ability to bring liberation and healing in our lives.

How does the reaction of the people in the Gospel for the 4th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year B enhance its message?

The amazement of the people emphasizes the extraordinary nature of Jesus' authority and teachings, inviting us to also approach His words and actions with awe and reverence.

In what way does the Gospel for the 4th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year B challenge modern Christians?

It challenges modern Christians to recognize and respond to spiritual realities, and to discern the presence of Christ’s authority in their daily lives, amidst many competing voices.

How can we apply the teachings of the Gospel for the 4th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year B in our community?

By promoting values of compassion, understanding, and standing against evil in our communities, reflecting the transformative and authoritative power of Jesus’ teachings in social and communal settings.

What is the significance of Jesus teaching in the synagogue in the Gospel for the 4th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year B?

Teaching in the synagogue signifies Jesus’ respect for religious traditions, while His unique authority and approach demonstrate the newness of His message and the fulfillment of the prophetic tradition.

How does the Gospel for the 4th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year B contribute to our understanding of Jesus as a teacher?

It illustrates that Jesus is more than just a teacher; He is an authoritative figure whose teachings come directly from His divine identity, setting Him apart from other religious leaders of His time.

How does the first reading for the 4th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year B relate to the Gospel?

Deuteronomy 18:15-20 discusses God's promise to raise a prophet like Moses, which is fulfilled in Jesus as seen in the Gospel, where He teaches and acts with divine authority.

What message should I take from the 4th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year B?

The message is to recognize Jesus' authority, discern true teachings, and commit to an undistracted devotion to God, integrating these into our daily lives.

How does the Responsorial Psalm for the 4th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year B complement the other readings?

The Psalm typically underscores the themes of praising God, recognizing His role as our creator and guide, and the importance of listening to His voice, aligning with the themes of authority and obedience in the other readings.

What is the significance of Jesus performing miracles on the Sabbath in the Gospel for the 4th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year B?

Jesus performing miracles on the Sabbath highlights His authority over religious laws and traditions, illustrating that His divine mission transcends conventional religious boundaries.

How do the readings for the 4th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year B relate to contemporary issues?

The readings can be related to contemporary issues by reflecting on the nature of true authority, the importance of discerning truth in a world of conflicting voices, and the role of faith in daily life.

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One response to “4th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year B”

  1. Kingsley Avatar

    This is wonderful and inspiring.

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