Grace to you!
One of my funniest moments is visiting with kids who are studying the Bible and Church lessons, what we call religious education. Sometimes, they ask intriguing questions that throw adults off balance. The other day I visited the kids in fourth and fifth grades. After a lesson on how God forgives and is merciful, one of them asked me, “Father, do you sin?”
“Of course, dear," I replied.
"Oh, I didn't know that," she retorted. Kids are fun.
May we use some bit of our imagination. I want you to imagine being in a Synagogue. (The synagogue is a Jewish gathering of people where they meet every Sabbath to read the Torah or the Prophets, as well as pray). In Synagogues, anyone could speak and share their thoughts. It is like a Bible-study group gathering where everyone could share their ideas with the team. Imagine a tall and unknown man showing up and walking up to the pulpit. Visualize the man reading from the Jewish Torah or the Book of the Prophets and begin to speak. He spoke so eloquently and with authority to capture the audience's complete attention. One could see the audience nosing around to know, who is this man? The man's name is Jesus.
Also, imagine a notoriously mean and violent man, feared by the community as possessed by demons. He comes in and begins calling the name of Jesus, stating that Jesus was the Holy One of God. Also, visualize Jesus commanding the violent man: “Be silent" and charging the demons in the man "Get out of him." In the sight of the people, the man fell (no one pushed him), convulsing, and the evil spirit, the demon, left him. He became automatically calm. What would be your reaction if you were there?
This scenario was the first public miracle and appearance of Jesus to the Jewish community in Capernaum, according to the Gospel of Mark. The people were so excited they wondered, "What is this? A new teaching! With authority, he commands even the unclean spirits, and they obey him” (Mk 1:27).
This first of the eighteen miracles of the Lord recorded by the Gospel of Mark, makes a case for a valid point I suggest we hold dearly. The Lord has absolute authority over any power, force, or spirit. He has complete control over nature too. Just like the Lord did the first miracle in the Gospel of John of changing natural water into win, he can change the course of things to work for his excellent design. By a command, nature obeys the Lord. The Lord speaks, and evil forces bow.
I understand some people are distressed or oppressed by evil forces. The Lord Jesus Christ is the answer. The Lord’s miracles prove he cares about spiritual freedom for you, or for anyone who is a victim of unclean spirits. Look to him, and you will find freedom for you and your loved one.
I pray that the Lord will deliver us from all evil. Amen.
God loves you. God bless you.
Fr. Maurice Emelu
[Tuesday, Week 1 in Ordinary Time: 1 Sm 1:9-20; Mk 1:21-28]
Author and Goal
Father Maurice Emelu PhD., provides a daily blog of reflections based on the Scriptural readings of the day from the Catholic liturgical calendar. The goal is to teach, inspire, encourage, and foster healing through the grace of God's word. They are written in a language that is appropriate for a general audience. You will find these reflections helpful for your spiritual growth, inspiration, and developing your thoughts. They may also be useful for ministers in preparing their sermons for liturgical celebrations.