Monday, January 11, 2010

Daily - 1/11/10

Mark 1:21-28

21 Then they came to Capernaum, and on the sabbath he entered the synagogue and taught.

22 The people were astonished at his teaching, for he taught them as one having authority and not as the scribes.

23 In their synagogue was a man with an unclean spirit;

24 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!"

25 Jesus rebuked him and said, "Quiet! Come out of him!"

26 The unclean spirit convulsed him and with a loud cry came out of him.

27 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."

28 His fame spread everywhere throughout the whole region of Galilee.

Much of this is the same from when we had Luke's account of this episode back in August. When it was WARM.

How real is this episode in Christ's life to you? Do you believe in unclean spirits?
If we're to take this gospel at face value -- and I think we should -- we are to understand that unclean spirits exist, that they can have great influence on our lives, and that Christ can and does cast them out of people. Those witnessing were shocked, but it's interesting to consider WHY. Apparently they weren't shocked by the idea of an unclean spirit influencing a person. What amazed them was the command that Jesus had over the spirits.

In today's world, if I believe in unclean spirits (ie, demons), I'm crazy. Flat out nuts. But if we are to take the bible seriously (and as Catholics, we are supposed to), we should be aware that the Church's testimony is that they are indeed out there, and that they try to prevent us from having a relationship with God. Consider the "Armor of God" passage from Ephesians 6:

10 Finally, draw your strength from the Lord and from his mighty power.

11 Put on the armor of God so that you may be able to stand firm against the tactics of the devil.

12 For our struggle is not with flesh and blood but with the principalities, with the powers, with the world rulers of this present darkness, with the evil spirits in the heavens.

13 Therefore, put on the armor of God, that you may be able to resist on the evil day and, having done everything, to hold your ground.

14 So stand fast with your loins girded in truth, clothed with righteousness as a breastplate,

15 and your feet shod in readiness for the gospel of peace.

16 In all circumstances, hold faith as a shield, to quench all (the) flaming arrows of the evil one.

17 And take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

18 With all prayer and supplication, pray at every opportunity in the Spirit.

I'll leave you with a movie quote: "The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn't exist." It's a battle out there, but Christ gives us everything we need to win.