DAILY MASS READINGS (January 14, 2020)


Reading 1 (1 SAMUEL 1:9-20)

A reading from the 1st Book of Samuel

Hannah rose after a meal at Shiloh,
and presented herself before the LORD;
at the time, Eli the priest was sitting on a chair
near the doorpost of the LORD’s temple.
In her bitterness she prayed to the LORD, weeping copiously,
and she made a vow, promising: “O LORD of hosts,
if you look with pity on the misery of your handmaid,
if you remember me and do not forget me,
if you give your handmaid a male child,
I will give him to the LORD for as long as he lives;
neither wine nor liquor shall he drink,
and no razor shall ever touch his head.”
As she remained long at prayer before the LORD,
Eli watched her mouth, for Hannah was praying silently;
though her lips were moving, her voice could not be heard.
Eli, thinking her drunk, said to her,
“How long will you make a drunken show of yourself?
Sober up from your wine!”
“It isn’t that, my lord,” Hannah answered.
“I am an unhappy woman.
I have had neither wine nor liquor;
I was only pouring out my troubles to the LORD.
Do not think your handmaid a ne’er-do-well;
my prayer has been prompted by my deep sorrow and misery.”
Eli said, “Go in peace,
and may the God of Israel grant you what you have asked of him.”
She replied, “Think kindly of your maidservant,” and left.
She went to her quarters, ate and drank with her husband,
and no longer appeared downcast.
Early the next morning they worshiped before the LORD,
and then returned to their home in Ramah.

When Elkanah had relations with his wife Hannah,
the LORD remembered her.
She conceived, and at the end of her term bore a son
whom she called Samuel, since she had asked the LORD for him.

– The word of the Lord.

Responsorial Psalm (1 SAMUEL 2:1, 4-5, 6-7, 8ABCD)

R.    (see 1) My heart exults in the Lord, my Savior.
“My heart exults in the LORD,
my horn is exalted in my God.
I have swallowed up my enemies;
I rejoice in my victory.”
R.    My heart exults in the Lord, my Savior.
“The bows of the mighty are broken,
while the tottering gird on strength.
The well-fed hire themselves out for bread,
while the hungry batten on spoil.
The barren wife bears seven sons,
while the mother of many languishes.”
R.    My heart exults in the Lord, my Savior.
“The LORD puts to death and gives life;
he casts down to the nether world;
he raises up again.
The LORD makes poor and makes rich;
he humbles, he also exalts.”
R.    My heart exults in the Lord, my Savior.
“He raises the needy from the dust;
from the dung heap he lifts up the poor,
To seat them with nobles
and make a glorious throne their heritage.”
R.    My heart exults in the Lord, my Savior.

Alleluia (1 THESSALONIANS 2:13)

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Receive the word of God, not as the word of men,
but as it truly is, the word of God.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel (MARK 1:21-28)

A reading from the Holy Gospel according to Mark

Jesus came to Capernaum with his followers,
and on the sabbath he entered the synagogue and taught.
The people were astonished at his teaching,
for he taught them as one having authority and not as the scribes.
In their synagogue was a man with an unclean spirit;
he cried out, “What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth?
Have you come to destroy us?
I know who you are–the Holy One of God!”
Jesus rebuked him and said, “Quiet!  Come out of him!”
The unclean spirit convulsed him and with a loud cry came out of him.
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.”
His fame spread everywhere throughout the whole region of Galilee.

– The Gospel of the Lord.

Reflection: After a period of celebrating Christ’s Incarnation, we now enter into Ordinary Time as we commemorate his Public Ministry. In the Gospel (Mark 1:20-28), Jesus goes to a synagogue in Capernaum with his disciples during the Sabbath. He taught the people, and they were all amazed at his words. Then a possessed man came, and the demon tested him. But he commanded him to be quiet and come out. At this, the people became more astounded. The two scenes this Gospel teaches us focus on the authority of Jesus Christ. It is demonstrated by his teaching and power. His words brought the attention of the people, and his powerful act of expelling the unclean spirit astonished them. As a result, news about him spread throughout the Galilean region. But above all, his authority focuses on the values of mercy and compassion. That is the mercy of God revealed to Hannah despite her drunkenness and barrenness that she would give birth to the future prophet Samuel. Her hymn of praise signs of the mercy and compassion of this God, which is later sung again by the Blessed Mother in her Magnificat.
My dear brothers and sisters, Jesus’ authority during his Public Ministry is manifested by his words of teaching, wondrous signs and wonders, and his ultimate sacrifice on the Cross for our Redemption. Now that he is seated at God’s right hand, his authority is interceding for us before the Father. He left us the responsibility to preach the Gospel by proclaiming and giving witness to it. So as we journey down this road, may we manifest our authority as Christians by becoming servant leaders to others and performing good works to them.

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