Daily Reflection – Aug 30, 2016
Tuesday 30 August 2016
1 Corinthians 2:10-16
The Lord is just in all his ways
Gospel Reading: Luke 4:31-37
Today’s Note: Tuesday of the Twenty-Second Week in Ordinary Time
Jesus went down to Capernaum, a town of Galilee.
He taught them on the sabbath,
and they were astonished at his teaching
because he spoke with authority.
In the synagogue there was a man with the spirit of an unclean demon,
and he cried out in a loud voice,
“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, “Be quiet! Come out of him!”
Then the demon threw the man down in front of them
and came out of him without doing him any harm.
They were all amazed and said to one another,
“What is there about his word?
For with authority and power he commands the unclean spirits,
and they come out.”
And news of him spread everywhere in the surrounding region.
In today’s Gospel Jesus spoke with authority and power. That is, his word had power to transform, heal and set free those who believe in him. His preaching much affected the people; and a power went with it to be a controller and conqueror of Satan, a healer of diseases.
Jesus’ authority was not only in word and teaching. Right there in the synagogue as he spoke to a man possessed by an ‘unclean spirit’, that spirit spoke through the possessed man. The stories of unclean spirits and demonic possession in the Gospels have something to teach us, even though we understand them differently now.
One way we can interpret Jesus’ actions toward this man is by observing the clear authority with which Jesus speaks. He gives orders to the unclean spirit, not to the man himself. His orders recognise that the man is not fully himself while possessed by the unclean spirit. It spoke in fear of the power of Jesus. “Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are, the Holy One of God.”
Do you ever have times in your life where you feel possessed by obligations and circumstances beyond your control? Are you suffering from illness, physical, mental or spiritual, from which you crave release?
Most of us posses authority of some kind, whether as a parent, a teacher, a professional with responsibility and so on. Let us make sure that we use that authority in such a way as to enhance the abilities of others rather than diminish them. Our authority should be based on real love and it should be used for the purpose of building humanity.
Pray over the words of today’s Gospel, and ask the Lord for healing. Ask to be restored to the one God made you to be.
“Let us pray for all those people who misuse authority so that they may learn to use it on the basis of real love.”