Tuesday, January 11, 2011

1/11/11 - Do You Believe In Unclean Spirits?

Mark 1:21-28
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.
According to the Gospels, at the time of Christ unclean spirits existed, and they had great influence on people's lives.  One way Christ demonstrated his divinity is to 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.
So ... how real is this episode to us today?  Was this something that occured during a specific time and place, or do we have this problem now?  Do unclean spirits impact our lives?

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 teaching of the Sacred Scriptures and Magesterium of the Church seriously, 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.