Jesus then went down to Capernaum, a town
of Galilee. He taught them on the sabbath, and they
were astonished at his teaching because he spoke with
authority. In the synagogue there was a man with
the spirit of an unclean demon, and he cried out
in a loud voice, "Ha! 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,
"Be quiet! Come out of him!" Then the demon threw
the man down in front of them and came
out of him without doing him any harm. They were
all amazed and said to one another, "What is
there about his word? For with authority and power
he commands the unclean spirits, and they come out."
And news of him spread everywhere in the surrounding region.
Introductory Prayer: Lord, you have looked with favor on
me. You have seen in my soul fertile ground, and
you have sown your word in hope of an
abundant harvest. I hope never to let you down by
not responding in faith. I allow you to lead
me to the fullness of my vocation as your disciple.
Petition: Christ, may zeal for your friendship consume
me so much that I remove all sin from my
1. Great Hopes: Jesus had great plans for Capernaum
–– a big city, situated by the lake on the
“way of the sea,” a thoroughfare open to travelers.
It was an ideal hub from which to spread the
Gospel. Would anyone from such a big town have
interest in his message? Christ made his home there.
He exercised the greater part of his public ministry in
Capernaum and graced it with more than one-third of
his miracles. It was quite different from Nazareth. Christ
asks us to find our Capernaum –– seeking that niche,
using those talents, evangelizing that audience — where we
can become the most effective apostles for him. This
may demand a greater love from us, but we can
see how Christ blesses this effort with his presence,
teaching and healing.
2. Simple Faith: Christ chooses to cure a
man on the Sabbath in Capernaum and nobody raises
an eyebrow! How different this is from Jerusalem! These
people here have a simple faith, unconcerned about the
legalities of ritualistic orthodoxy. “Here I can preach. Here I
can heal. Here I can work!” Christ feels at
home and welcomed. Here Christ finds vocations: Peter, Andrew,
James, John, Matthew. Here Christ finds faith even among
the pagans: the centurion who asks for a cure. One
can sense a special predilection of Christ toward this
city. From those who have been given more, more
will be expected.
3. Generosity Pushed to Its Limits: Once a
soul responds in generosity, Christ opportunely draws it to
the fullness of its vocation. Encouraged by Capernaum’s faith,
Christ asks more of it; just as he asked
of the rich young man. As we see later in
the Gospel, what better place than faith-filled Capernaum for
Christ to reveal to the world one of his most
difficult teachings: presenting himself as the Living Bread come
down from heaven? In the end, the majority leave
him. “Will you go away too?” The present-day ruins
of Capernaum testify to the truth of Christ’s warning: “As
for you, Capernaum, ‘Are you to be exalted to
the skies? You shall go down to the realm
of death!’ If the miracles worked in you had taken
place in Sodom, it would be standing today. I
assure you, it will go easier for Sodom than for
you on the Day of Judgment” (Matthew 11:23-4).
with Christ: Lord, you know me and
you know everything about me. Let me not become blinded
by the arrogance of my own opinions and ideas.
Help me to keep you always before me as the
goal of my life, the pearl of great price,
for which I joyfully sell all I own to
Resolution: I will use one of my talents
to help somebody today.