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Thursday of the 4th Week in Ordinary Time

Daily Mass Readings for Thursday of the 4th Week in Ordinary Time Cycle 1

  • First ReadingHebrews 12:18-19, 21-24: You approach not a fearsome mountain, but Mount Zion, the heavenly Jerusalem, amidst joyous angels and the righteous. Here, Jesus mediates a new covenant, offering redemption and hope.
  • Responsorial PsalmPsalm 48: In God’s temple, we ponder His kindness. His mountain, beautiful and joyous, stands firm. In Jerusalem, His power and love extend worldwide.
  • Gospel Mark 6:7-13: Jesus empowered the Twelve Apostles to expel demons and instructed them to travel with minimal belongings for their mission. They were advised to find hospitality in one home per town and, if rejected, to leave with a symbolic gesture of shaking off dust. They preached repentance, cast out demons, and healed many.

So they went off and preached repentance. The Twelve drove out many demons, and they anointed with oil many who were sick and cured them.

Mark 6:12-13

Themes for the Readings for Thursday of the 4th Week in Ordinary Time Cycle 1

For Thursday of the 4th Week in Ordinary Time Cycle 1, the readings present several interwoven themes:

  • Contrast Between Old and New Covenants: The reading from Hebrews contrasts the fearsome experience of Mount Sinai under the Old Covenant with the approachable and joyous Mount Zion of the New Covenant, signifying a transition from law to grace.
  • Mediation of Jesus: Jesus is portrayed as the mediator of a new and better covenant, highlighting His role in bridging humanity with God and offering redemption and hope.
  • Mission and Trust in Providence: In Mark’s Gospel, Jesus sends out the Twelve Apostles with specific instructions that emphasize reliance on God’s providence and the hospitality of others, rather than on material possessions.
  • The Power of Faith and Repentance: The Apostles’ ability to expel demons and heal, coupled with their preaching of repentance, underscores the transformative power of faith and the call to conversion.
  • Rejection and Perseverance in Mission: The instruction to shake off the dust from their feet if not welcomed in a place teaches a lesson in perseverance and the appropriate response to rejection in the mission of evangelization.
  • Community and Hospitality: The directive for the Apostles to stay in one house per town emphasizes the importance of community, hospitality, and forming relationships in the work of spreading the Gospel.

These themes for Thursday of the 4th Week in Ordinary Time Cycle 1 collectively offer insights into the nature of Christian discipleship, the transition from the Old to the New Covenant, and the mission of the Church in the world.

Thoughts for Thursday of the 4th Week in Ordinary Time Cycle 1

In the Gospel reading for Thursday of the 4th Week in Ordinary Time Cycle 1, we find a lesson in the simplicity and trust that should mark Christian discipleship. Jesus sends out the Twelve Apostles with specific instructions that are as challenging as they are enlightening. They are to carry minimal belongings, rely on the hospitality of strangers, and preach repentance. This passage from Mark 6:7-13 invites us to reflect on the essence of our faith journey – a journey of trust, reliance on God, and the transformative power of the Gospel.

At the heart of Jesus’ instructions is the call to simplicity and trust in Divine Providence. The Apostles are advised to travel light, carrying only the essentials. This is a powerful metaphor for our spiritual journey, where the burden of material possessions can often distract and weigh us down. Jesus teaches that our primary reliance should be on God, not on worldly securities. This lesson in detachment is as relevant today as it was then, in a world increasingly focused on material accumulation and self-reliance.

The aspect of hospitality in this passage also speaks volumes. The Apostles are instructed to stay in one house per town, forming a relationship with their hosts. This shows the value of community and mutual support in the Christian life. It is through these interpersonal connections that the message of the Gospel often finds its most fertile ground. This approach contrasts sharply with the individualism that pervades much of contemporary society, reminding us that faith is lived and nurtured in community.

The directive to shake off the dust from their feet if not welcomed highlights another important aspect of Christian mission – the reality of rejection and perseverance. Not every message of truth and love will be welcomed, yet the mission continues. This symbolic act of shaking off the dust is not one of disdain for those who reject the message, but a sign of release from the burden of their rejection, allowing the Apostles to move forward in their mission.

The First Reading from Hebrews 12:18-19, 21-24 provides a theological backdrop to this Gospel passage. It contrasts the fearsome Mount Sinai of the Old Covenant with the joyous Mount Zion of the New Covenant. This shift from a covenant of law to a covenant of grace and hope is embodied in the mission of the Apostles. They are not bringing a message of fear and judgment, but one of hope, healing, and redemption through repentance. It is a message that is as relevant in the contemporary world as it was in the time of Jesus.

In summary, this Gospel passage challenges us to embrace simplicity, trust in God, value community, and persevere in the face of rejection. It invites us to reflect on how we live out these values in our daily lives, in our communities, and in our approach to sharing our faith with others. The message is clear: our journey with Christ is one that demands faith, hope, and love, underpinned by a profound trust in God’s providence.

Prayer

Lord, grant us the grace to embrace simplicity, trust in Your providence, and persevere in faith. May we find strength in community and courage to spread Your message of hope and redemption through our words and actions. Amen.

Homilies and Reflections
for Thursday of the 4th Week in Ordinary Time Cycle 1

USCCB Reflection: Embracing Our Mission

The USCCB reflection for Thursday of the 4th Week in Ordinary Time Cycle 1 contrasts Moses’ Covenant, emphasizing fear of God, with Jesus’ message of direct access to God. It highlights that falling away from God’s kingdom is more detrimental than failing Moses’ way. In Mark 6:7-13, Jesus empowers the Twelve for a mission of healing and demon expulsion, emphasizing reliance on God over self-reliance. The reflection connects this to modern discipleship, citing a principal’s selfless acts as an example of living out the Gospel, showing that we are called to tirelessly work for the Kingdom of God and bring others with us.

Frequently Asked Questions
for Thursday of the 4th Week in Ordinary Time Cycle 1

What date is Monday of the 3rd Week in Ordinary Time Cycle 2?

The next date is Thursday February 6, 2025.

Cycle 1 is used in odd numbered years and Cycle 2 is used in even numbered years. The gospel is the same for both years. For even numbered years see Thursday of the 4th Week in Ordinary Time Cycle 2.

What are the Mass readings for Monday of the 3rd Week in Ordinary Time Cycle 2?

The Mass readings for Thursday February 6, 2025 are:
First Reading  – Hebrews 12:18-19, 21-24: You’ve Come to Mount Zion
Responsorial Psalm – Psalm 48: Reflections on Divine Kindness
Gospel – Mark 6:7-13: Empowerment and Mission of the Twelve

What is the main message of Hebrews 12:18-19, 21-24 for Thursday of the 4th Week in Ordinary Time Cycle 1?

This passage contrasts the fearsome nature of God under the Old Covenant with the approachable and redemptive nature of God in the New Covenant, symbolized by Mount Zion and Jesus as the mediator.

How does Mark 6:7-13 relate to the mission of the Church today?

This passage, assigned to Thursday of the 4th Week in Ordinary Time Cycle 1, emphasizes the importance of reliance on God, simplicity, and the power of faith in carrying out the Church’s mission.

What lesson can be learned from the Apostles being instructed to carry minimal belongings in Mark 6:7-13?

This teaches the value of simplicity and trust in God’s provision, focusing on spiritual rather than material reliance.

Why is the shaking off of dust significant in Mark 6:7-13?

It symbolizes the Apostles’ release from the burden of rejection and their perseverance in spreading the Gospel, as part of the readings for Thursday of the 4th Week in Ordinary Time Cycle 1.

How does Thursday of the 4th Week in Ordinary Time Cycle 1’s readings connect to the theme of covenant?

Hebrews 12:18-19, 21-24 discusses the transition from the Old Covenant (law) to the New Covenant (grace), with Jesus as the mediator.

What is the role of community in the Gospel reading for Thursday of the 4th Week in Ordinary Time Cycle 1?

The instruction for the Apostles to stay in one house in each town emphasizes the importance of community and hospitality in the mission of evangelization.

How do Thursday of the 4th Week in Ordinary Time Cycle 1 readings address the concept of fear and joy in relation to God?

Hebrews 12 contrasts the fear associated with the Old Covenant with the joy and hope offered in the New Covenant through Jesus.

What does Thursday of the 4th Week in Ordinary Time Cycle 1 teach about handling rejection in evangelization?

The Gospel reading teaches that rejection is a part of the mission, but it should not deter us. Instead, we should move forward, trusting in God’s plan and guidance.

What is the significance of Mount Zion in the reading from Hebrews 12 for Thursday of the 4th Week in Ordinary Time Cycle 1?

Mount Zion symbolizes the heavenly Jerusalem, a place of joy and the gathering of angels and saints. It represents the spiritual reality of the New Covenant, contrasting with the physical and fearful Mount Sinai of the Old Covenant.

How does Thursday of the 4th Week in Ordinary Time Cycle 1’s Gospel relate to modern Christian discipleship?

The Gospel encourages modern Christians to focus on spiritual strength and divine guidance in their missionary and daily life, emphasizing trust in God over material resources and the importance of spreading the message of repentance and healing.

What does the instruction for the Apostles to find hospitality in one home per town teach us?

This instruction, part of Thursday of the 4th Week in Ordinary Time Cycle 1 readings, teaches the value of building relationships and relying on the community in the work of evangelization, highlighting the interconnectedness of the Christian community.

How can we apply the message of expelling demons and healing in Mark 6:7-13 in contemporary life?

While the literal act of expelling demons and healing might not be common, the passage inspires us to confront and overcome personal and societal evils and to bring healing through compassion, understanding, and the message of the Gospel.

What is the new covenant that Jesus mediates, as mentioned in the first reading for Thursday of the 4th Week in Ordinary Time Cycle 1?

The new covenant, as mentioned in Hebrews 12:18-19, 21-24, refers to the new relationship between God and humanity established through Jesus Christ. It is marked by grace, forgiveness, and direct access to God, contrasting with the law-based Old Covenant.

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