September 5, 2023
Tuesday of the Twenty-Second Week in Ordinary Time
Readings for Today
They were all amazed and said to one another, “What is there about his word? For with authority and power he commands the unclean spirits, and they come out.” And news of him spread everywhere in the surrounding region. Luke 4:36–37
Jesus had just encountered the wrath of many in His hometown of Nazareth, so He left there and traveled about 30 miles to Capernaum, a town just north of the Sea of Galilee. This was to become His new home during His public ministry. The reaction He received in Capernaum was much different than that which He received in Nazareth. As He taught in the Synagogue in Capernaum, a man with a demon came to Him, Jesus rebuked the demon and cast it out, and the people were amazed. Word spread about Jesus quickly. After this, Jesus performed many other miracles, and the people continued to be in awe of Him.
What was it that impressed the people of Capernaum? In part it was the “authority and power” with which Jesus spoke and acted. But it was not only this, since Jesus had done so also in Nazareth where the people failed to believe in Him. In Capernaum it wasn’t that Jesus was different, it seems that the people were different. Jesus won over many hearts in Capernaum because the people were open to the gift of faith. In fact, when Jesus was preparing to leave from Capernaum, the people begged Him to stay. Though eventually Jesus would also encounter resistance from the people there, their initial reaction was one of faith.
Do you want Jesus to act powerfully in your life? Do you want Him to act upon you with authority and power? Many people, from time to time, can feel as though their lives are somewhat out of control. They experience weakness, confusion, a lack of direction and the like. For that reason, true spiritual “authority and power” is very welcome. What sort of authority and power do you need Jesus to exert over your life today?
Think of a small child who is frightened. When this happens, the child turns to a loving parent for comfort and security. The embrace of a parent immediately helps to dispel the fear and worry of the child. So it is with us. We must see Jesus as the source of calm in our lives. He is the only one Who is capable of ordering our lives, freeing us from the attacks of the evil one, bringing peace and calm to our disordered emotions and clarity to our questions and doubts. But this will only be possible if we are open. His power never changes, but it can only enter our lives when we change and when we recognize our weakness and our need for Him to take control.
Reflect, today, upon the infinite spiritual authority and power of our Lord. It is a power beyond anything else we could imagine. He wants to exercise this authority in your life out of love. What is hindering Him from taking greater control of your life? What sin or temptation does Jesus want to rebuke in your life? From what oppression does He want to set you free? Reflect upon yourself being a member of the town of Capernaum who fully welcomes Jesus, is amazed at Him and desires Him in your life. His working in your life depends upon you and your response to Him. Call on Him and let Him in.
My most powerful Lord, You and You alone are able to take authority over my life and bring order and peace. Please remove any doubt and stubbornness from my heart so that I can open myself to You and Your grace. Take authority of my life, dear Lord, and lead me into Your most holy will. Jesus, I trust in You.
Saint of the Day – Saint Mother Teresa of Calcutta