Daily Gospel Reflection for January 15, 2019

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Today’s Gospel: Mark 1:21-28

“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!”

Demons are terrifying.

On the surface, that might seem like a silly thing to say. But when I said “Demons are terrifying”, did your mind instantly recreate a scene from a movie? Or did today’s gospel passage come to mind?

I bet it was a movie, or a TV show that flashed across your mind’s eye.

It’s OK. I’m not dissing the horror genre. I am a BIG fan of horror/paranormal…everything. However, the finest of this genre doesn’t come with buckets of blood, bodies flying through the air, gnashing of sharp, pointy teeth or heads spinning around. The best of them are quiet and personal and seemingly full of the ordinary. Until, of course, they’re not. And the best horror writing goes straight to the Bible for its inspiration.

The scene is set for us by Mark: an ordinary synagogue in an ordinary fishing village. Jesus steps up to the front and begins to teach and the ordinary begins to shift. People are uneasy, some are amazed. The murmuring grows as Jesus continues to speak.

A man steps forward – everyone knows him, everyone knows the evil in their midst – but what can they do?

The crowd parts to make way as the man slinks toward Christ.

“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 will have none of it – he commands the demon to be quiet.

And it does.

He commands the demon to come out of the man.

And it does.

The people are enthralled – what a show! Who is this teacher?

Ponder:

Are there demons in our midst that we ignore? If a demon can so easily recognize the Holy One, why is it so hard for us?

Pray:

O Holy One of God, two thousand years lay heavy on your people. Help us, O Lord, drive out the demons that tear us apart.


Copyright 2019 Annette K. Tenny

Annette K. Tenny is a freelance writer living in North Carolina. She is a member of the Catholic Writers Guild.

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