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Homily

FEELING THE POWER OF JESUS' WORD, Lk 4:31-37 (Tuesday of the 22nd week in year B)
By Augustine Agwulonu
Tue, 01 Sep 2015

FEELING THE POWER OF JESUS' WORD, Lk 4:31-37 (Tuesday of the 22nd week in year B)

I once read that "words are not merely air and sound." They are rather authority and power. This is the reason why words can be effective. This is specially true about Jesus' word. His words bear authority. They possess power. And they are very effective. 

In yesterday's Gospel reading we saw how Jesus' kinsfolk in Nazareth refused to feel the authority and power of his spoken word to them. Consequently, they neither experienced nor witnessed to the effects of Jesus' word. Unlike the people of Nazareth, those of Capernaum were so moved by Jesus' preaching. We read that they "were astonished at his teaching because he spoke with authority." And when the effect of Jesus' spoken word manifested itself by expelling the Demon, which possessed a man, they exclaimed in awe:
"What is there about his word?
For with authority and power he commands the unclean spirits,
and they come out.”
It was so marvelous in the people's sight, how Jesus' word restored dignity and wholeness to a man who had been battered and ravaged by the unclean spirit.

The authority and power of God's spoken word protects us from the destructive attacks and influences of unclean spirits. Jesus' word does not only silence the demons from confessing him, but it also neutralizes their ability to harm us. We could see this demonstrated in what happened to the demon possessed man in the Synagogue at Capernaum. Though the demon threw the man on the ground, it could not harm him. The man got away from the demon's grips unscathed, both physically and spiritually.

Sisters and brothers, we are most privileged by our Christian calling. We not only experience the authority and power of Jesus' spoken word and feel its liberating and soothing effect, but we are also permitted to confess Jesus with our mouths, that he is the Holy One of God. We can proclaim that Jesus is the Lord. In today's Gospel reading, we observe that the demons were neither allowed, nor permitted to confess Jesus, though they knew him very well. But we must believe in Jesus in our hearts and confess him with our mouths.

Today, let us ask ourselves: how do we feel and experience the authority and power of Jesus' word? What effects does Jesus' word have in our lives and existence? The choice is ours! It is either we expel Jesus from our souls and from our community and thereby make ourselves vulnerable to demonic attacks and other damaging agents, as the people of Nazareth did. Or we can choose to act like the people of Capernaum: welcome Jesus in our hearts and among us, listen to his word and feel its positive effect. Jesus' word has the authority and power to expel demons and all other forces that could cause us harm, be it spiritually or physically.

May the Spirit of The Lord dispose us to marvel at Jesus' word, receive it with joy and feel its healing effect... Amen

 

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