JAN. 12. ORDINARY TIME. (B) WK.1. TUES. MK. 1. 21-28
Updated: Aug 22
Jesus and his disciples went as far as Capernaum, and as soon as the sabbath came he went to the synagogue and began to teach. And his teaching made a deep impression on them because, unlike the scribes, he taught them with authority.
In their synagogue just then there was a man possessed by an unclean spirit and it shouted, ‘What do you want with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are: the Holy One of God.’ But Jesus said sharply, ‘Be quiet! Come out of him!’ And the unclean spirit threw the man into convulsions and with a loud cry went out of him. The people were so astonished that they started asking each other what it all meant. ‘Here is a teaching that is new’ they said ‘and with authority behind it: he gives orders even to unclean spirits and they obey him.’ And his reputation rapidly spread everywhere, through all the surrounding Galilean countryside.
“As soon as the sabbath came he came to the synagogue and began to teach!” Ponder this situation, where The Son of God, the Creator of the Universe, comes before his people in the Temple and begins to teach them. It would be hard to imagine a situation more important or more worthy of man’s attention!
But both then and now, however, we find that God’s People have tended not to heed Christ’s teaching? And why? Because his teaching have not been in accord with our own desires; - the Creature turning his back on the teachings of his Creator; - preferring to follow his own will and his own desires?
And today’s Gospel goes on to point out the reason. “There was a man there possessed by an unclean spirit”! Sadly, Christians tend to ‘overlook’ or ‘forget’ that we are spiritual beings, and that we have a spiritual enemy in Satan and his demons (unclean spirits!) who are unrelenting in their desire to have us not heed the “good Spirit”; - the Spirit of God!
Sadly, we “overlook” this “unclean spirit” struggle taking place within us. We do this even though it’s effects are felt each and every day of our lives when we have to choose between following our own desires, or following the Will of God; - made known to us firstly, by our conscience, secondly by the Gospels, and thirdly, by the teachings of Christ and his Church!
But no matter how hard we try to overlook this “inner struggle” or pretend it does not exist, we cannot escape it, as it is part of our human condition; - and it makes itself known on a daily basis in the form of “sin”; - where we know we frequently choose to follow our own desires; - rather than the Will of God, or the teachings of Christ!
And how do we respond to this tragic situation that abides within us? We tend to “avoid” any in-depth pondering, or study of Christ’s teachings, which are revealed to us in the Gospels; - a response that weakens our ability to follow Christ’s teachings and strengthens our inclination to follow our own desires; - and the suggestions of the “unclean spirit!”
This is why Prayer and Sacrament play such an important role in the life of Christians! We need the assistance of “The Holy Spirit” if we are to possess the strength and wisdom needed to overcome “the unclean spirit” that has such a powerful influence over our lives; - together with a true devotion to The Holy Eucharist, and Mary, the Mother of God, who Christ gave us from the Cross to be our Mother! - She will assist us greatly to follow the teachings of her Son!
Gospel Acclamation cf.1Th2:13
Receive this message not as human words,
but as truly the word of God.
First reading Hebrews 2:5-12 ·
The one who sanctifies and the ones who are sanctified are of the same stock
God did not appoint angels to be rulers of the world to come, and that world is what we are talking about. Somewhere there is a passage that shows us this. It runs: What is man that you should spare a thought for him, the son of man that you should care for him? For a short while you made him lower than the angels; you crowned him with glory and splendour. You have put him in command of everything. Well then, if he has put him in command of everything, he has left nothing which is not under his command. At present, it is true, we are not able to see that everything has been put under his command, but we do see in Jesus one who was for a short while made lower than the angels and is now crowned with glory and splendour because he submitted to death; by God’s grace he had to experience death for all mankind.
As it was his purpose to bring a great many of his sons into glory, it was appropriate that God, for whom everything exists and through whom everything exists, should make perfect, through suffering, the leader who would take them to their salvation. For the one who sanctifies, and the ones who are sanctified, are of the same stock; that is why he openly calls them brothers in the text: I shall announce your name to my brothers, praise you in full assembly.