4th Sun. Ordinary Time Year B
Our Lord comes to the synagogue and amazes the congregation because He speaks with authority and not like a scribe. We all know the difference between a preacher who proclaims his homily with the power that emanates from the Holy Spirit and one who simply recites words derived from a superficial or merely academic study of the sacred text. The first has a mysterious moral authority that moves the hearts of his listeners while the second puts his hearers to sleep. Evidently, no one was nodding when Jesus spoke that Sabbath in
But preaching with power has its dangers. It not only arouses the latent good but also provokes the hidden evil. A man with an unclean spirit cries out in protest, “Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are: the Holy One of God!” I have always found it intriguing that the devil should witness here to the sanctity and divine origin of Christ and that Jesus should refuse such testimony. Was not each one acting against his own self interest? Why should the demon tell the truth and why should Truth Incarnate command silence? Because truth has its time and it was not the right time for this truth to be revealed. The people were not ready to contemplate the Divinity of Jesus; they had to be prepared by His teaching and His acting. So the devil spoke in order to take control and Jesus cut short that maneuver.
In the spiritual life it is the same way. Jesus reveals Himself very gradually and adapts Himself to our mode of being in a way that we can receive Him. Sometimes it is a frustratingly slow process, both in our own lives and in the lives of those we love. We may want to accelerate the revelation, but this is a temptation and a deceit of the evil one. Jesus knows how to wait for the right time. His greatest revelation is His patience on the Cross. Here He shows what love really means and who God really is. This is His most captivating sermon. May it capture our hearts so that we too may have the power which comes from love to draw all people to Him.