Mk 1: 21-28

They 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.

New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.

Power of the Word of God

Today’s psalm (Psalm 94), which begins the Liturgy of the Hours almost every day, implies that each day we may hear God’s voice—the same voice that summoned into being the entire universe and ourselves as well. In the first reading (Dt 18: 15-20), Moses promised his people a prophet who would speak God’s words with a human voice. In the Gospel, that prophet appears in Jesus who speaks, with authority and power, words that are spirit and life. They cast out demons, forgive sins, restore health, and raise the dead. Even the sea and the wind respond to the voice of their creator.

We’ve been created to be hearers of the word. We’re meant to be open to the Word of God and to all the words he speaks to us in Scripture and in the depths of our hearts, and not just to their significance, but even more to their power to transform us.

—Fr. Peter Fennessy, SJ is a retreat director at Manresa Jesuit Retreat House in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan.

 

Prayer

Come, let us sing joyfully to the LORD;
let us acclaim the rock of our salvation.
Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving;
let us joyfully sing psalms to him.

Come, let us bow down in worship;
let us kneel before the LORD who made us.
For he is our God,
and we are the people he shepherds, the flock he guides.

Oh, that today you would hear his voice:
“Harden not your hearts as at Meribah,
as in the day of Massah in the desert,
Where your fathers tempted me;
they tested me though they had seen my works.”

—Ps 95: 1-2, 6-7, 8-9