January 9, 2018
Tuesday of the First Week in Ordinary Time
The Gospel Today
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. Rodel D.O. Aclan)
The unclean spirit knows Jesus very well, who He is and what He is, “the Holy One of God”. Perhaps this knowledge about Jesus is similar to the confession of faith of Simon Peter, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God”. But of course these statements from the two are not of equal degree. That of Peter was a confession of faith as revealed to him by the Father, while that of the unclean spirit is merely a statement of fact which he knew from the beginning.
As a student of theology, this account from the Gospel for today brought me to a deeper reflection with my own knowledge of our Lord Jesus. It is clearly shown that mere knowledge about Jesus does not automatically establish a relationship with Him. The unclean spirit knew Him yet has no relationship with Him.
We are always reminded by our professors that studying theology should not stop in just gaining information about Jesus or about our faith. It should help us encounter the very person whom we study in theology, Jesus. Theology should help us to have a personal relationship with Him.
As I go back to my vocation story, I can remember clearly I did not decide to respond to the call of seminary formation because I knew Him as a God, but primarily I felt the love He has for me. It is because I realized how blessed I was by Him. It is because I saw His footprints beside mine in times of hardships and happiness. We can therefore say that to know Jesus is to have a personal relationship with him because we have experienced Him in our lives.