January 29, 2012
Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Listen to the
podcast version here.
Then they came to Capernaum,
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.
Oh, Holy One of God, what do you have to
do with us? We know that you have the words
of eternal life and can command the evil one to
depart. You have power over all evil and can conquer
all sin. You are ready to do this because of
your unconditional love for us, and I am ready to
listen humbly to your word and respond, so that I
may be healed and have life forever with you.
Jesus, help me to trust in your power to heal
me of my sin.
1. His Way of Teaching: Jesus
teaches with authority –– of course he does, because he
is the Son of God! He is the one who
has the words of eternal life. He has been at
the Father’s side from all eternity. He has come to
teach us the way to the Kingdom of Heaven. So
many voices in our world today can confuse us and
make us doubt our faith. Can we not just listen
with hearts of faith to the simple message that Jesus
Christ is the Way, the Truth, and the Life?
Is in Charge: Jesus commands the evil one, and he
submits. The evil one fears Christ’s power. The evil one
is silenced and chased out by a mere word from
Christ. So often we worry and fear that sin and
evil have a grip on us that we cannot break.
We worry we cannot live up to what the Lord
expects of us. Yet, his word makes that evil one
flee immediately. He can do the same in our lives
if we put our total trust in him.
Evil I Can’t Overcome: What is the major evil or
sin that I have not been able to expel? What
is the primary fault or defect in my life? All
my effort to improve has been blocked by this insidious
power, greater than my virtue. I need to turn to
Christ and put my trust in his word of life.
I need to ask him to free me from that
power which consumes me and holds me back from loving
and giving myself to him and to others.
Christ: Speak that word of life, Lord. Free me from
the power of the evil one. Do not let him
run my life or keep me from your love. Give
me your grace and I will be satisfied.
will be bold and trust in the Lord’s power to
help me overcome my faults and the power of the
devil’s influence on my life.