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Homilies :: Latin Rite
Tuesday of the 21st Week in Ordinary Time Download This Homily

September 3, 2019

Tuesday of the 21st Week in Ordinary Time

 

1 Thes 5: 1-6, 9-11

Psalm 27:1, 4, 3-14

Lk 4: 31-37

 

Gospel Reading

 

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.

 

Reflection

 

Challenge of the Evil Spirit

 

 

Today’s Gospel passage comes just after the rejection of Jesus at his home town Nazareth. In contrast to that experience of Nazareth, here in Capernaum people accept him with both hands. Capernaum was a town on the north shore of Galilee. Later it became the base from which Jesus did much of his missionary work. As in Nazareth, he taught the people in the synagogue on the Sabbath. Unlike in Nazareth, his teaching made a deep impression on the people. He performed many miracles. The first one among them was the healing of the possessed.

 

The reaction of the evil spirit when it saw Jesus is something that catches our attention at the beginning of the passage. The demon cries out, “Ah! 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.” Do you think, it is an acknowledgement of the authority of Jesus as the Christ? I don’t think so. Note the scorn in the address of Jesus as Jesus of Nazareth. The evil spirit tries to tell Jesus, ‘I know you are from Nazareth. Remember what happened in Nazareth recently. You are the rejected one from your home town!!’

 

That is the work of the evil spirit even today. It wants to discourage people. It wants to constantly remind us how despicable our condition is, how sinful we are, and we cannot get up from our fallen state. That is just the opposite of the attitude of Jesus. He wants us to get up and follow him leaving aside the burden of our sins. He tells us that even if we are great sinners, there is salvation in him because he wants to forgive us and give us salvation.

 

Furthermore, the words of the evil spirit are an open challenge to Jesus; not an acknowledgement of the divinity of Jesus: ‘I know who you are!’ The evil spirits continue to challenge Jesus throughout his ministry. At the beginning he defeated it. But it continued to challenge him often and again. But each time Jesus defeats it. The evil spirits will challenge us too when we are on the path of God; that too in many ways. Remember how Jesus faces them.

 

Acknowledging Jesus as the Lord and Master needs humility. That was precisely what the demon lacked. Let us acknowledge the authority of Jesus with humility. He is the one who conquered the world. Let us put our trust in him. Every day of ours is full of conflicts. The Satan is also busy trying to entice us and challenging us. Let us be aware of this fact. Move cautiously and courageously with the power of the Spirit.

 

The response of the people is also something to be noted. “And they were all amazed and said to one another, “What is this word? For with authority and power he commands the unclean spirits, and they come out.” What happened was something new to them. Of course there were exorcists at that time, who could chase out the evil spirits. But the way they used to do it and Jesus did it was quite different. There were no elaborate rubrics needed for Jesus. He just ordered and the spirits obeyed. It was quite new to them. They became amazed at the authority of Jesus as the Lord of heaven and earth, man and spirit.

 

Jesus was authority incarnate- the Word of God made flesh. It was God who spoke when he spoke. It was God who did miracles when he performed them. His authority came from his Father. It was the delegated authority from his Father. Let us not be wavered in our faith. We have Jesus with us. No evil will prevail against us. We have the one with all the authority from heaven and earth with us as our master of our life. That is our consolation.

 

Dr Martin Mallathu CMI


Homilies Navchetana Apps, the first of its kind is produced and published by Navchetana Communications, Bhopal, India to assist the clergy to preach the World of God and also as a handy spiritual resource for the people of God to reflect on the daily spiritual passages at their convenience. You can download this on your Android phone from Google play and you can see the Gospel reflections of the whole year. The size of this app is just 2.5 MB. We welcome your suggestions and contributions to server you better.

May God Bless you

Fr. James M L CMI

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Homilies Navchetana is an initiative of Navchetana Communications, Bhopal, India. We have been sending the Sunday and daily homilies last four years. We are grateful to you for your cooperation and encouraging comments. Navchetana is committed to spread the Good News of Jesus Christ through modern media and performing arts. Through our Web TV, audio and video productions and stage programmes we take the Gospel message to the ends of the earth. Make a donation and be a part of this noble mission.


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