Jesus and his disciples went to Capernaum; and when the sabbath came, he entered the synagogue and taught. They were astounded at his teaching, for he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes. Just then there was in their synagogue a man with an unclean spirit, and 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." But Jesus rebuked him, saying, "Be silent, and come out of him!" And the unclean spirit, convulsing him and crying with a loud voice, came out of him. They were all amazed, and they kept on asking one another, "What is this? A new teaching—with authority! He commands even the unclean spirits, and they obey him." At once his fame began to spread throughout the surrounding region of Galilee.
Today is Tuesday the 14 January, in the First Week of Ordinary Time.
The Kiev Chamber Choir sing the Creed. “I believe in one God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth.” As I start this prayer today, can I join in with this strong, almost exuberant expression of faith? Can I begin by declaring my faith in my God, my creator, my heavenly Father?
Today’s reading is from the Gospel of Mark.
A man possessed of an unclean spirit would probably be thought of today as a madman who shouts obscenities in a public place. How do you think the people in the synagogue might have reacted to this man, and to what Jesus does?
What struck the people was that Jesus taught with authority - he actually backed his words with actions. In your life do you have areas where you believe and say one thing, but don’t back your words with actions? - maybe in areas like helping those in need, or living a more environmentally friendly life?
As you listen to the reading again, imagine the scene as vividly as you can – the tones of voice, the postures, the looks on people’s faces…
What desire do you have to speak and act as Jesus did, with that kind of integrity and authority? In the closing moments of this prayer time, talk this over with the Lord, asking perhaps for the gift, the grace to practise what you believe.