The Word and the Spirit

Luke 4: 31-37
1 Cor 2: 10b-16 / Ps 145: 8-14

What words these are! With authority and power he gives orders to evil spirits and they come out!
(Luke 4:36)

Don’t fear to face iniquity,
No evil spirits can withstand,
When we speak with authority
The Name ‘Jesus’ at our command.

Jesus went down to Capernaum, a town in Galilee, and on the Sabbath He taught the people. They were amazed at His teaching, because his words had authority. In the synagogue there was a man possessed by a demon, an evil spirit. He cried out at the top of his voice, “Go away! What do you want with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are—the Holy One of God!” Jesus rebuked him and said, “Be quiet! Come out of him!” Then the demon threw the man down before them all and came out without injuring him. All the people were amazed and said to each other, “What words these are! With authority and power He gives orders to evil spirits and they come out!” And the news about Him spread throughout the surrounding region. (Luke 4: 31-37)

Reflection

Demonic influence continues to hold sway in many places today, even inside churches, as it was in the synagogue where Jesus taught. But it is no match against the power of God’s Word. We have no cause to fear evil spirits as long as we believe the messages that Jesus continues to teach us as what He taught His disciples in Galilee. Just as He promised before He ascended into heaven – “I am with you always until the end of time” (Mt.28:20) – He is present with us still, not only in the Holy Spirit and in the Holy Eucharist, but in the power of His words in Holy Scriptures.

If we only read the Bible often enough, we will come to realize that the Gospel is not just a story depicting the life of Jesus Christ, but a miraculous source of transforming power that has changed the lives of millions of saints here on earth in the course of thousands of years. It has given spiritual healing, helped cast out evil spirits, and brought life to once moribund souls who in turn have become powerful witnesses for Christ, sharing His light to those who are still in darkness. How many ‘insignificant lives’ have we heard at the rostrum, boldly and articulately proclaiming how the Word of God had changed their lives?

Life is a constant struggle between the forces of good and the spirits of evil. One strives for love, peace and unity, while the other works for strife and division. Do you feel weighed down, or even chained by some spirit of worldly obsession? Do you feel possessed by immoral thoughts or tendencies that constantly lead you to sin? Turn to Jesus to give you the power of the Holy Spirit’s discipline. Ask Him for the grace of humility and forgiveness if you feel a proud and unforgiving spirit within. Simply pray to Him for healing, and listen to Him by reading the Gospel accounts of His life and teachings. St. Paul wrote: “This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, explaining spiritual realities with Spirit-taught words” (1Cor.2:13). The power of the Holy Spirit’s words never fails to cast away all spirits of burden and pain. We have nothing to lose, but freedom from emotional pain plus the peace of mind we will surely gain.

Father God, Your greatest Covenant is Your Beloved Son, Jesus the Word made flesh, Who is with us in Spirit and in the Holy Scriptures. Fill us with the desire to read Your Word daily, so that we may be transformed completely, and be able to serve Your kingdom as effective witnesses of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

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