Gospel Reflection Tuesday 22nd Week Ordinary Time (5 September) – What words are these!
Fr Paul reads from the Gospel of Luke (4: 31-37) in which the people of Capernaum were amazed by the authority and power with which Jesus drove the spirit of a demon out of a young man there. Fr Paul says this first story of the healing ministry of Jesus is pretty well the same as it is told by Mark except that the boy’s disorder here is worse, the spirit of a demon or devil rather than merely an unclean spirit. It is more violent, too, and throws the boy out into the middle, though Luke (keeping in mind he is a doctor) is always gentle and is careful to comment that the spirit did not hurt the boy. It is a curious fact that the spirits which Jesus expels recognise who he is and call out ‘the Holy One of God’ or ‘son of the Most High God’ (as in Mark 5.7), but none of the bystanders seems to notice, hear or even comment. It is as though they have not recognised the significance of the cry. The significance of these cries is limitless. ‘The Holy of God’ is virtually the same as calling Jesus ‘God’, for holiness is the specific, unrepeatable quality of God. None of us have ever encountered a personality like that of Jesus, a divine and human personality, but Fr Paul invites us to reflect, ‘Do we recognise who Jesus really is?’