Tuesday, January 12 ~ First Week in Ordinary Time
Holy Gospel: Mark 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.
Meditation: Ask yourself a couple of very simple questions: Do you believe that God’s word has power to change and transform your life? And are you eager to hear and believe the word of God? When Jesus taught he spoke with authority. He spoke the word of God as no one had spoken it before. When the Rabbis taught they supported their statements with quotes from other authorities. The prophets spoke with delegated authority – “Thus says the Lord.” When Jesus spoke he needed no authorities to back his statements. He was authority incarnate – the Word of God made flesh. When he spoke, God spoke. When he commanded even the demons obeyed. Do you respond to God’s commands as God wants you to?
Prayer: Attend to the pleas of your people with heavenly care, O Lord, we pray, that they may see what must be done and gain strength to do what they have seen. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Contemplation: Saint Augustine once remarked that “devils confessed Christ, but lacking charity it availed nothing…They confessed a sort of faith, but without love. Hence they were devils.” We must always remember that faith is mighty, but without love faith profits nothing (ref. 1 Corinthians 13). True faith works through love (ref. Galatians 5:6) and abounds in hope (ref. Romans 15:13). That is why faith is both a free gift of God and the free assent of our will to the whole truth that God has revealed. To live, grow, and persevere in the faith to the end, we must nourish it with the word of God. The Lord gives us his Holy Spirit to enlighten our minds that we may grow in his truth and in the knowledge of his great love for each of us. If we approach God’s word submissively, with an eagerness to do everything the Lord desires, we are in a much better position to learn what God wants to teach us through his word. Thus today we should ask ourselves: (1) Am I eager and desiring to be taught by the Lord, and, (2) once taught by Christ, will I conform my life according to the Word of the Lord?