January 12, 2016

Gospel MK 1:21-28
Jesus came to Capernaum with his followers,
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.
When the scribes and religious leaders taught in the synagogue, they justified their opinions by quoting famous rabbis and well known teachers of religion.
Jesus spoke with an authority of his own which needed no justification; His views were as one with God, and the people “were astonished at his teaching.”
In ancient times it was common for people to believe in the existence of evil spirits possessing the souls of those who were blind or deaf or suffered from various diseases.
Because His authority and power came from the Father, Jesus cured people with simply a word or a touch. In doing so, these miracles gave greater weight to His message of God’s love and concern for His people.
The same is true today.
For Christians to speak of the love and forgiveness of God is fine. But, when our words are backed up by unconditional acts of kindness, a box of food, a bed to sleep upon, or a bit of change in an outstretched hand, then our words have authenticity.
When we “act” as Christians that is when we will see Christ’s “fame spread everywhere.”

“For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead.”
James 2: 26