Sunday, January 28, 2024

From Fr. Frank

 Is Jesus a celebrity? It would appear so given the last line of today’s gospel, “ His fame spread everywhere throughout the whole region of Galilee.” Jesus spoke as one with authority since he wasn’t quoting any other person or source, which is how the scribes taught. They never spoke on their own authority but on the authority of a prophet, a teaching of the Law, or by quoting Moses, the greatest teacher in all scripture. But even Moses makes it clear that another will follow him, one who God will put his very words in his mouth and he “will tell them all that I  command him.”

The first thing Jesus does within the sabbath prayer service is to command the unclean spirit to leave the possessed man. Marvelous things can happen at worship! What Jesus does is so beautiful and powerful: his words and actions coalesce into one unity of experience. Jesus’ very WORD as power to create and to heal. The man is restored to his community and to his very self!!! The man is no longer torn or divided within his heart: he is a whole, integrated person!

What are the divisions in your own heart, those voices of discontent, of constant questioning, that unsettle, vanquishing inner peace? The divisions within create havoc in our daily lives, causing relationships to be divided and wounded. Surrender to Christ, to the authority of His word, as he commands these voices to be QUIET…. And they will.

Is Jesus a celebrity? Hardly. The throngs of adoring people would desert Jesus because His Words eventually hit a nerve in their own heart and they didn’t like it. The point of greatest inner resistance is the place of transformation, of being re-created and restored. Unfortunately, so many of us would just rather stay the same. Change can be very painful.