January 12, 2016

The Gospel Today

Tuesday of the First Week of Ordinary Time

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.

Reflection (Sem. Jeffrey A. Danan)

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God teaches with authority. He accompanies His words with actions that lead to a powerful life-changing intervention.

When I surrendered my life to the Lord as a teenager, one of the changes I did was to burn letters that contained all my anger, bitterness and frustrations. I even included some of the letters that had precious memories that I carefully filed and kept. I personally made a pot and there I put my letters and burned all of it. Then I collected the ashes and tossed it in the wind with my personal prayer to God.

It was hard for me to throw some of my memories into the fire but it was my way of telling the Lord that I was done with my old life. That set me free to pursue Him with nothing to hold me back. I told myself that what I was yesterday is different from today.

Afterwards, I put and nurtured a plant on the same pot that I used for burning. Now, it is nurturing new life.

Allowing myself to be free from my own slavery was a grace from God. He knows about my sufferings and struggles. He is a loving God.

Today’s Gospel is an invitation and reminder that our Lord Jesus is a powerful God. He can change our lives, even at our most difficult situation. We just surrender ourselves to Him and allow Him to enter our lives. He knows that we are sinners, but still, He invites us into a relationship to remind us that we are loved.

At present, as a priest-in-process, I believe that I have found my greatest treasure: that is my personal relationship with God who loves me unconditionally and forgives me unceasingly, searches for me untiringly within a community that helps me in my daily journey.

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