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Jesus Drives Out an Impure Spirit
Tuesday of the Twenty-Second Week in Ordinary Time
Then he went down to Capernaum, a town in Galilee, and on the Sabbath he taught the people. They were amazed at his teaching, because his words had authority. In the synagogue there was a man possessed by a demon, an impure spirit. He cried out at the top of his voice, “Go away! What do you want with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are—the Holy One of God!” “Be quiet!” Jesus said sternly. “Come out of him!” Then the demon threw the man down before them all and came out without injuring him. All the people were amazed and said to each other, “What words these are! With authority and power he gives orders to impure spirits and they come out!” And the news about him spread throughout the surrounding area.
Opening Prayer: Lord Jesus, you are more powerful than any evil. Protect me from distraction while I meditate on your word.
- They Were Amazed: Jesus taught the people on the Sabbath, a day reserved for rest and for hearing the rabbi’s preaching in the synagogue. Jesus, a woodworker from Nazareth, had bystanders enthralled and curious to hear what he would say next. Something stirred their hearts when he spoke. What made the general crowd listen with open hearts while the Pharisees and scribes wanted to silence him? Perhaps it was an awareness of their neediness that sensitized them to Jesus’ life-giving message. As friends of Jesus, we listen with open hearts to his preaching, and recognize our need for greater dependence on him. In this way, we are sensitized to listen to and develop a holy taste for God’s word.
- I Know Who You Are: How often we brush aside Jesus’ Real Presence, unaware of the impact he wants to make upon us. The demons recognize him, but do we? A simple acknowledgement suffices for Jesus to enter into relationship with us. From the enemy came a profession of faith, the very profession that Jesus longs for us to proclaim.
- Be Quiet! Come Out of Him!: Jesus manifested his power as an act of charity directed at a possessed man. The Scriptures testify that Jesus’ power was never displayed for the sake of lording himself over others. Beginning with the miracle of Cana, he was moved by pure charity to remedy situations and to bring about righteousness. With a sternness he ordered the devil to be silent, but he is gentle with those who are in need of mercy and open to receive. We need never fear drawing close to Jesus.
Conversing with Christ: Lord Jesus, I praise you for the wonders you work in my life and in the lives of others. Grant that I may turn over those areas of my life that are in need of healing. Silence and banish those spirits that seek to obstruct my true surrender to you.
Resolution: Lord, today by your grace I will be attentive to thoughts that obstruct my faith and ask you to silence and send them out.
For Further Reflection: Discernment for Dummies, Part 4: Listening.
Jennifer Ristine is a consecrated woman of Regnum Christi dedicated to spiritual and faith formation through teaching, conferences, writing, and spiritual direction. While serving in Ancient Magdala she wrote Mary Magdalene: Insights from Ancient Magdala and “Nine Days with Mary Magdalene.”