The Gospel Today
Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Then they came to Capernaum,
and on the sabbath Jesus 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.
Reflection (Sem. Julius de Gracia):
In our gospel passage today I would like to invite you to reflect with me using some simple gospel verses;
The verse that says; “…they were ASTONISHED at his teaching for his word was with authority.” (Mk. 1:22) and as well as in (Mk. 1:27) “And they were all AMAZED…” The magic word in our reflection this day is AMAZED and ASTONISHED.
Theologically speaking the meaning of this text is very simple, they were amazed and astonished whenever Jesus spoke about the Kingdom of Heaven, and Jesus was speaking with authority and not just repeating the past commentaries of the elder Rabbis, as usually done by other teachers in the synagogue.
“…they were ASTONISHED“ and “And they were all AMAZED…” if we apply it in our day to day life, it’s good to ask ourselves: WHO and WHAT continues to AMAZED and ASTONISHED me in my FAITH? Sino at Ano ang nakakapamangha sa buhay pananampalataya ko?
WHO and WHAT continues to AMAZE and ASTONISH me in my FAITH?
Is it the power of Christ? Or the person of Christ with power? Who continues to AMAZE and ASTONISH you? Namamangha ka ba sa makapangyarihang Kristo? O mas namamangha ka sa Kristong makapangyarihan?
- If the one that continues to AMAZED and ASTONISHED you is the “POWER OF CHRIST or THE POWER OF GOD or MAKAPANGYARIHANG KRISTO”, then eventually we will realized that we do not love God or Christ totally. We only love, we are only amazed and astonished of God because his POWER.
This is dangerous and shallow spirituality. For many times in our day to day lives sometimes God is SEEMINGLY powerless. Parang walang Diyos, ang hirap maniwala. May mga pagkakataong tila ang pananampalataya mo sa Diyos ay windang at balisa, sapagkat punong puno ka nang problema. (material man o spiritual). Sa mga pagkakataong ito minsan, kahit sarili mo mahirap pagkatiwalaan, sapagkat kahit ikaw mismo hindi mo alam ang solusyon sa kinakaharap mo. And slowly in the long run, your faith in God is disturbed and is slowly fading, until it is gone.
So let us revisit our faith disposition with God, through the aid of our question. WHO and WHAT continues to AMAZED and ASTONISHED me in my FAITH?
- But if the one that continues to AMAZED and ASTONISHED you is the “CHRIST with POWER, or ang KRISTONG MAKAPANGYARIHAN”, then whatever comes into your life, be it DESOLATION and CONSOLATION you are in good hands always. You have a mature faith in God. You love God both in times of joy and tears, in times of emptiness and fulfilment, in times of health and sickness, in times of failures and success. Nakikita at nararamdaman mo si KRISTONG MAKAPANGYARIHAN na NAGHAHARI sa BAWAT SANDALI ng IYONG BUHAY. This could only happen if you are continuously AMAZED and ASTONISHED by the JESUS of the gospel not just of the gospel of Jesus.
Let us never allow the day to pass without contemplating and giving thanks on the many miracles and blessings that AMAZE and ASTONISH us constantly.
Jesus is the fulfilment of the, Law (Ketubim) and the Prophets (Nabiim). I mentioned that because our gospel reading for today is the continuation of the gospel yesterday, the chapter 4 of the Gospel of St. Luke. We hear Jesus continued His mission of preaching the gospel about the kingdom of heaven, now in Capernaum, while yesterday it was in Nazareth.