The Newness of Jesus’ Teaching
FOURTH SUNDAY OF ORDINARY TIME
In Greek, there are two words which express the adjective “new”: Neos and Kainos. Neos means temporary new. It is used to express an ephemeral newness. This newness does not last; it comes and goes.
Speaking about the newness of Jesus’ teaching, the evangelist Mark used kainos meaning ontologically new. Therefore, Jesus teaching is always new; it is eternal. Indeed, it keeps touching, transforming and renewing those who welcome Jesus in their lives.
How does Jesus teach? In his Encyclical Letter, Catechesi Tradendae n°9, Saint John Paul II says that Jesus teaches through his whole life: “His silences, His miracles, His gestures, His prayer, His love for people, His special affection for the little and the poor, His acceptance of a total sacrifice on the cross for the redemption of the world, and his resurrection are the actualization of His word and the fulfillment of revelation” In fact, in today’s episode, Jesus did not give a long speech. He only said to the evil spirit: “Be quiet! Come out of him.” And the evil spirit obeyed him. That was all. This newness of teaching moved many people that day.
When people are truly touched by the new teaching of Jesus, they become missionaries. That is what we notice in this episode. Without receiving a specific mandate to spread the Good News like the apostles, those who witnessed the new teaching of Jesus in the synagogue of Nazareth became missionaries; automatically they started spreading Jesus’ name.
Do we speak about Jesus in our Christian families? Do Christian parents transmit their faith in Jesus Christ to their children? Let us not forget that every Christian family is a Domestic Church (cf. Lumen Gentium n°11). That is why every Christian family should have time every Sunday to listen to Jesus’ New teaching and pass it on to others.
The true encounter with Jesus, the teacher par excellence, is always appealing. Today let us truly open our hearts to listen to the newness of his teaching. Let us “give our undivided attention to the Lord,” as the end of the second reading tells us.