A Penitent Blogger

Mindful of my imperfections, seeking to know Truth more deeply and to live Love more fully.

Quid sum miser tunc dicturus? Quem patronum rogaturus? Cum vix iustus sit securus?
Recordare, Iesu pie, Quod sum causa tuae viae: Ne me perdas illa die...

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Evil and the authority of Christ

Today's readings both deal in different ways with the authority of Christ in the face of evil.

The first reading (Hebrews 2:5-12) takes a cosmic perspective.

At present we do not see "all things subject to him,"
but we do see Jesus "crowned with glory and honor"

In today's Gospel (Mark 1:21-28) we have our Lord's first face-to-face encounter with evil after his being tempted in the desert.

Jesus came to Capernaum with his followers,
and on the sabbath he entered the synagogue
and taught.

The people were astonished at his teaching,
for he taught them as one having authority
and not as the scribes.

In their synagogue was a man with an unclean spirit;
he cried out,
"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,
"Quiet! Come out of him!"

The unclean spirit convulsed him
and with a loud cry
came out of him.

All were amazed
and asked one another,
"What is this?
A new teaching with authority.
He commands even the unclean spirits
and they obey him."

Both of these readings, in some sense, demonstrate the reality of this famous statement in John 1:5:

And the light shines in the darkness
And the darkness grasped it not.

There is much darkness in the world: evil still exists, making noise and causing trouble. "At present we do not see ‘all things subject to him…'"

But we "see Jesus ‘crowned with glory and honor.' "The light shines in darkness." The light, the power and the authority that is Christ cannot be overcome by any darkness, nor can those belonging to darkness even comprehend him.

St. Paul in 1 Corinthians 15:24-25 reminds us that we will indeed see all things subject to Christ.

Then comes the end,
when he hands over the kingdom to his God and Father,
when he has destroyed every sovereignty
and every authority and power.
For he must reign
until he has put all his enemies under his feet.

In the meantime, no matter what darkness, opposition or evil may confront us, you and I must do what we can to let the light of Christ shine forth in our words, attitudes and actions, for that is what he himself, by his infinite authority, has commanded us (Matthew 5:16):

Let your light so shine before men,
that they may see your good works
and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.