In today’s Gospel the crowds see something different in this young rabbi from Nazareth just starting his teaching. Why do his words have a weight to them that they didn’t find in their scribes? They bear the weight of truth. Something resonates in us when we hear the truth, and for the crowds in today’s Gospel they know Our Lord’s teaching rings true: it speaks to something in their hearts, be it a call to conversion or a confirmation of the upright life they’re trying to lead. We need the truth, and Our Lord is the truth in Person.
Society today focuses a lot on opinion, but often doesn’t go very deep. In today’s First Reading the priest Eli misjudges Hannah pouring our her heart to the Lord for drunkenness, and judges her accordingly. Eli soon found he was wrong, but if he hadn’t spoken up he would have never found out or joined his prayers to Hannah’s. Today many people don’t want to speak out at all for fear of being labelled as judgmental, but also, at times, out of a mistaken idea that two apparently irreconcilable beliefs can be true: everyone’s got their “truth” and nobody should question it. This attitude loses sight of the fact that there is a truth to everything, and we’re all seeking to understand it and embrace it in our lives. The Gospel brought to us by Our Lord brings that truth to us. It helps us cut through opinions that may veil untruths.
The Gospel today has been preached for millennia, but it’s the truth that sets us free. Let’s listen to Our Lord with renewed attention today through his Word, confident that it is the truth, and not be shy about helping others learn the truth as well.
Readings: 1 Samuel 1:9–20; 1 Samuel 2:1, 4–8d; Mark 1:21–28. See also 22nd Week in Ordinary Time, Tuesday.