The Man with an Unclean Spirit

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Reflection on the Gospel of the Tuesday In The Twenty-Second Week In Ordinary Time

Luke 4:31-37

Jesus had made Capernaum his base of operations, since it was n the trade route and an important sea port, and from here he was going to start his ministry… and as part of this he went and taught in the synagogue there.

And he taught filled with the wisdom of God, and knowledge of the heart of God. His words cut each heart that listened to him, because they were open to his message, unlike Nazareth whom we read about yesterday. These people trusted, believed and began to have faith. From yesterday’s reflection we know, this openness is the pre-requisite to seeing God working in ones life; and this is what happened. What was unholy could not remain hidden, and was exposed to the light of Christ’s Words.

The unclean spirit, as recorded in the synoptics about all unclean spirit when they came into the presence of God, protested to Jesus’ presence and activity, demanding that they be let alone, for where there is God there can be no evil. Jesus commanded the evil spirit; “Be silent, and come out of the one you are possessing!” and out he came and left that place.

Why do you think Jesus commanded the evil spirit to be silent. There are many opinions, and all of them right in their own way. But what did strike me is that Jesus wanted those who had started to believe in the words he had just spoken, to journey further on their spiritual journey and become sincere disciples based on their own convictions. He did not want the testimony of the evil spirit as part of their growth, because that would be like building a house on sand, no sooner problems and doubts come, their house would take a tumble.

And we see this positive effect in them, for they discussed among themselves, “What kind of utterance is this? For with authority and power he commands the unclean spirits, and out they come!” Here we see them focused on Jesus from whom all this activity was taking place, not the other way around…

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