Tuesday of the Twenty-SecondWeek in Ordinary Time

The progress of liberation

Jesus then went down to Capernaum, a town of Galilee. He taught them on the sabbath, and they were astonished at his teaching because he spoke with authority. In the synagogue there was a man with the spirit of an unclean demon, and he cried out in a loud voice, “Ha! What have you to do 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 in front of them and came out of him without doing him any harm. They were all amazed and said to one another, “What is there about his word? For with authority and power he commands the unclean spirits, and they come out.” And news of him spread everywhere in the surrounding region.  Lk 4,31-37

In today’s Gospel, we admire Jesus of Nazareth’s power over the forces of evil, his inner freedom against the Jewish law which would prevent him from working on the Sabbath day, and his speaking with authority while he teaches in the synagogue. They are typical attitudes of someone who masters the situation and has a clear idea about what must be done and what must be said. When he speaks with parables, we are impressed with his ability to reveal, through simple stories, the long unspoken truth about God and man. When he heals the sick and raises the dead along the roads of Palestine, we get amazed by the divine power and his compassion towards the needy. When he discusses with the scribes and Pharisees, we admire the clarity of the ideas and the frankness of exposure, and when he speaks of the Father, we are amazed of the familiarity and respect that he has. Other times, we are struck by his love and capacity of forgiveness towards sinners, whom society condemns and sends away. In Jesus of Nazareth, there is no attitude which fails to take us by surprise by opposing our limited way of approaching man, society and God. Where does such greatness come from? There is only one answer: being born without sin, Jesus of Nazareth is beyond human limits. It is our limits which keep us away from loving, forgiving, be free, let us understand the truth about God and man, talk with frankness, and act with confidence and authority in the various circumstances of everyday life. If this is the situation, we only have one way to raise our humanity to a higher level: beginning a process of conversion to follow the Lord and fight our inclination to sin, drinking every day from the source of the gospel and frequently receiving the sacraments. It is a challenging journey, but it will bring as fruits a higher human and Christian greatness. We have already seen the results in several people who, with a similar progress, have literally transformed themselves. Though we remain sinners, it is the way of holiness.

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