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Faith Daily | 11 January 2022

PRAYER of the DAY - APBA p 526


Almighty God,

who anointed Jesus at his baptism with the Holy Spirit

and revealed him as your beloved Son:

inspire us, your children,

who are born again of water and the Spirit,

to surrender our lives to your service,

that we may rejoice to be called your children;

through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Amen.


GOSPEL for the Day: Mark 1: 21-28

21They went to Capernaum; and when the sabbath came, he entered the synagogue and taught. 22They were astounded at his teaching, for he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes. 23Just then there was in their synagogue a man with an unclean spirit, 24and 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.” 25But Jesus rebuked him, saying, “Be silent, and come out of him!” 26And the unclean spirit, convulsing him and crying with a loud voice, came out of him. 27They 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.” 28At once his fame began to spread throughout the surrounding region of Galilee.

GOSPEL Reflection: Contributed by: Paul McLaughlin


If anything will get the attention of your students it’s performing miraculous healing , and if anything will spread your fame throughout the land it’s the ability to command obedience from the supernatural world. The big issue to come from Jesus’ powerful exorcism of the unclean spirit in Capernaum is the further emphasis of his authority – “for he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes”.


Witnessing Jesus’ rebuke and casting out of the demon, the people were quick to realise that they were in the presence of a powerful force and a radically different teacher.


In previous reflections ( Luke 11 : 42-46, Mark 12: 13-17) I have commented on the teaching method of the Pharisees and Scribes – strict adherence to tradition and with nitpicking scrutiny. To them Jesus’ teaching would be blasphemy, for he taught with independent authority and a freedom that comes from the authority of God. This is divine authority which was a new and radical thing to the people he taught in the synagogue; but it further incensed the authorities and would lead to his eventual death.


FINAL PRAYER: “For completeness” St Anselm, 11th century


O Lord Jesus Christ, our redemption and our salvation, we praise you and give you thanks. Though we are unworthy of your benefits, and cannot offer to you the devotion you deserve, let your loving-kindness complete whatever our weakness tries to do. Before you, O Lord, we lay all our desires, and whatever our heart rightly wishes, it is because of your gift. Help us love you as you command. Do not let your gift be unfruitful in us. Complete what you have begun, give what you have made us desire, convert our lukewarmness into fervent love of you; for the glory of your holy name.

Amen

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