Painting by: Ronald Raab, CSC
Dear Believers in the Hope of Christ Jesus,
In today’s gospel, Mark 1:21-28, Jesus reaches out to rebuke an unclean spirit. The unclean spirit cries out because he knows who Jesus is, “I know who you are—the Holy One of God!” This moment in the beginning of Mark’s gospel is important for us to consider for our own lives.
The three-year ministry of Jesus begins with establishing his authority on earth. Jesus reaches out to the sick, the suffering and to heal those possessed by unclean spirits. People are experiencing the healing, comfort and liberation of Jesus’ presence. The Kingdom of Heaven is being manifest on earth in the restoration of relationships; the healing of the body and the hope that God will prevail against all evil.
In these beginning weeks of Ordinary Time, our worship centers on Jesus’ reaching out to us and teaching us about His mission on earth. Not only does He help us heal, but teaches us to reach out to heal others. Not only does He show us the reality of His love, but helps us encounter love in the world. Not only does He help us resist unclean spirits of hopelessness, gossip, backstabbing, and despair, but helps us encounter God’s Kingdom in all of our earthly encounters and relationships.
Through our own baptism, we become a new fire on earth. We spread His ability to heal and forgive within our own commitments. We become what we see in Jesus. We live as He lived and forgive as He forgave and heal as He healed.
We focus on Jesus’ love and His passion, death and resurrection. His life overcomes all evil. Sometimes we forget our faith. We tend to focus on darkness instead. We seem convinced by our world that evil is here to stay. However, if we focus on the love Jesus has for us, His everlasting goodness and forgiveness, we then live in a light that is sheer beauty and we bask in the hope that prevails for all eternity.
I invite you into prayer and reflection on this gospel today. As you face your own relationships and live your own life, what are the obstacles or moments of darkness that you wish Jesus to touch and heal?
Also, how do you experience the true authority of Jesus in your prayer and in your daily life? How can you become hope for others through your actions and accountability to Christ Jesus?
I think one of the most important aspects of this gospel is to stand in awe at the miraculous presence of Jesus Christ as the people around Jesus did in the text. This is an aspect of faith that we all need to ponder and reflect upon. Awe. How can we invite Jesus into our lives and be surprised by His mighty works and deeds?
Awe and wonder become an important aspect of faith for any follower of Jesus. My prayer for you is that you may surrender to the love God has for you and know through the miracles of healing and hope that faith is really real in our world today.
Blessings to you and your loved ones,