A reading from the gospel according to Mark 1:21-28:
21 Jesus came to Capernaum with his followers, and on the Sabbath he entered the synagogue and taught.
22 The people were astonished at his teaching, for he taught them as one having authority and not as the scribes.
23 In their synagogue was a man with an unclean spirit;
24 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!”
25 Jesus rebuked him and said, “Quiet! Come out of him!”
26 The unclean spirit convulsed him and with a loud cry came out of him.
27 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.”
28 His fame spread everywhere throughout the whole region of Galilee.
Points for Reflection:
1. Jesus taught with authority and even the most intelligent scribe cannot match His wisdom. Of course, He can teach with authority because He is God and the Holy Spirit is with Him. Still, the scripture says He spent a long time in the desert in communion with His Father before He began His public ministry and we can be sure He had done this even in His youth. The scripture also mentions that He would often escape from the crowd to spend time alone to pray. All of these are meant to show us that wisdom and the talent to teach are both gifts from God and for anyone to teach with authority, one must always abide with God through constant prayer, meditation and fasting.
2. Even Satan recognized Jesus. How often do we hear that, in order to fight and win in a battle, you must know who your enemy is. It is therefore not a surprise if Satan also knows who Jesus is. Yet, Jesus is the Lord of lords and the King of kings. He had come to destroy the enemy. At the sound of His name, the devil trembles. In due time, all will be subdued and everything will come under His dominion. This is our hope.
3. Even inside a synagogue, unclean spirit is present. We should not be surprised too if inside churches and other places of worship, there are people who are possessed by Satan. People who may look so religious can be the real face of the enemy. We must always be watchful of them and be prayerful that we don’t become the instrument of the devil.
4. His fame spread everywhere. It is still spreading everywhere. Let us join hands in spreading it, most especially in our own circle of acquaintances.