Gospel Reflection Jan 28 – Fr. Lynch
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.
The Gospel of Mark today is a powerful reminder of who really is in charge! Jesus is the Son of God, Jesus is the healer of souls, Jesus is the source and summit of what we believe, who we believe in, and why we believe.
The man with “the unclean spirit” is another way of saying someone “possessed by a demonic spirit.” This unclean spirit is not who the man is, but rather is inside and possessing this man, his thoughts, and words.
Jesus shows us with His word and actions who He really is, the one who has come to deliver us from evil by healing us and conquering evil itself. Jesus would later make the ultimate sacrifice by suffering, dying and gloriously resurrecting over sin and death. This triumphant victory is demonstrated by His AUTHORITY over everything, including unclean spirits (notice how the unclean spirits already know who He is before the people do and why He is here, yet those unclean spirits are bound up by His authority). When God commands, even evil itself must lay down and be submissive to His authority.
Brothers and sisters are we afflicted by any unclean spirits in our lives? Maybe pride, ego or selfish self-centeredness, or control has crept into the nooks and crannies of our own lives. If unclean spirits obey Jesus, why do we struggle at times to obey the Lord and His authority over us? He asks us to love God above all else and love our neighbors as ourselves. Is that asking too much? Not only does He ask, but then He shows us how to follow. Jesus doesn’t want parts of us, not just the good, or only the bad…He wants all of us.
So let us surrender to him, abandon ourselves to the One who sets us free by His Authoritative and Infinitely Divine Love.
There is never such a thing as a bad confession. When we go, we take our very self and submit ourselves to the authority in Christ Jesus to have him heal our souls, to unbind troubles in our consciences, and live in His freedom. If today you hear His voice, harden not your hearts!
St. Brigid of Kildare…Pray for us.