Sunday, January 28
Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Mark 1: 21 – 28
Then they came to Capernaum,
and on the sabbath Jesus 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.
In this weekend’s gospel from St. Mark we hear Jesus begin to speak at a synagogue in Capernaum. He makes his voice heard for the first time as a preacher, teacher and healer. The people, who have heard preachers and teachers before, quickly recognize that Jesus’s voice is something new. Jesus’s voice is not one of the regulars. They are deeply impressed.
However, that morning in the synagogue there is a man who is very disturbed and who begins to shout and disrupt things. He, too, recognizes that this Jesus is a powerful man, a man who is able to deal with his troubled mind. But he is afraid and begins to shout at Jesus to ward him off. In response Jesus, by the power of his word – his voice – quiets the demon of torment and brings the grace of calmness and peace to that person.
‘What do you want with us, Jesus of Nazareth?’ is the question put to Jesus by that tormented man, yet, it can be a question for all of us today. In our tormented world, so often unstable and full of fears and struggles, it is easy for us to hide away in our own little lives, safe perhaps from the drama all around us. May Jesus’s voice be just as powerful today to enliven our lives, change our unsettled ways, and to heal our hurting hearts.
Deacon Frank Iannarino