THE Gospel of today says (Mk 1:21-28): They went into the town of Capernaum and Jesus taught in the synagogue on the Sabbath day. The people went astonished at the way he taught, for he spoke as one having authority and not like the teachers of the Law.
It happened that a man with an evil spirit was in their synagogue, and he shouted, “What do you want with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are: you are the Holy One of God.” Then Jesus faced him and said with authority, “Be silent, and come out of this man!” The evil spirit shook the man violently and, with a loud sheik, came out of him.
All the people were astonished, and they wondered, “What is this? With what authority he preaches! He even gives orders to evil spirits and they obey him!” And Jesus’ fame spread throughout all the country of Galilee.
On a personal note – With the same authority Jesus drives out demons. This act also contains a message: Jesus delivers us from the influence of the Devil, who strives to destroy those created in the likeness of God.
In Jesus’ time, but much more rarely in the Church’s time (our time), there were some persons possessed by the Devil. Jesus freed quite a number of people from this slavery and disease. Physical possession is not the usual way of the devil’s activity in humans. The devil operates (far more dangerously because we do not feel it) in the moral life of people. He blinds and confuses them with regard to the truth, disguised as the angel of light (2 Cor 11:14).
Not that the Devil is the cause of every sin and evil that people do. There is also the selfishness of our “flesh” and the lure of the false promises of “the world” but the Devil, as enemy of God’s kingdom, is never at rest. He always nurtures our temptations. With holier persons who are not easy to tempt in a direct way, he goes about deceiving them persuading them to give more importance to their own good purposes than to the advice of others and the teaching of the Church.
The Devil notices at once those who are capable of weakening or destroying his empire. Then he awakens the bad, the mediocre, the foolish and the ill fated against them. That is why wherever Jesus goes the Devil also appears.
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