1 Corinthians 2:10b-16
In this season of feverish political activity we daily view candidates for office seeking dramatic ways to communicate their ‘platform’. They compete for our attention seeking a claim on our minds and emotions. The vast sums of money and time expended in these endeavors remind us just how high are the stakes!
Today’s Gospel reading is an opening moment in Jesus’ salvific campaign! Situated at the very start of his public ministry, we see how his public teaching electrifies the crowd and seizes their hearts with joy. We can scarcely imagine the follow-up: the Lord confronts and vanquishes a demonic power that has held a beloved son of God in bondage.
By highlighting the amazement of the crowd, St. Luke points to the dynamic freshness of Jesus’ Gospel. Bearing God’s own Spirit, his personality and action create something brand new – the assurance of victory over evil and a description of God-given direction that will not fail. This moment opens the ongoing battle between the Lord and the powers of human sin and demonic violence that will climax on the Cross. In that ultimate power struggle – the stakes could not be any higher – Jesus will prevail. And we are free!
Staying amazed at the words and deeds of Jesus is vital for quality Christian living. Just like gazing on the face of a loved one or hearing again a favorite song, attention to the Lord’s ‘platform’ can both energize and comfort us. May our daily prayer dwell upon his Gospel and enable us to live His holy will.
Fr. Jim Thoman, C.P. is the director of St. Paul of the Cross Passionist Retreat Center, Detroit, Michigan.