WHILE JESUS WAS PREACHING in the synagogue at Capernaum one Sabbath,  a man in the congregation was suddenly seized with a demoniac fit and cried out, “What have we to do with Thee, Jesus of Nazareth? Hast Thou come to destroy us?   I know who Thou art, the Holy One of God.”

Clearly, the devil now realized that Jesus, the Messiah, was divine and that  He had come to free men from the power of Satan.  But it was not for Satan to proclaim Christ’s  mission, and He silenced the unclean spirit and drove him out saying;

Hold thy peace, and go out of the man.” 

Shrieking and struggling until the man was convulsed, the evil spirit gave up possession of the body, which was found to be unharmed by the fiend it had sheltered.

Immediately the synagogue was in an uproar, everyone discussing with his neighbor this amazing power of Jesus over evil spirits. “What is this word?” they said. “For with authority and power He commands the unclean spirits, and they come out.”  And the news of this remarkable event spread rapidly through Galilee.

Afterwards Jesus left the synagogue and went with His disciples to the house of Simon and Andrew, where He was staying.  They found Simon’s mother-in-law sick in bed with a severe fever, and the disciples asked Jesus to come to her assistance.  Drawing near the sick bed, He took the woman by the hand and brought her to her feet.  At the same instant the fever abated and she was able to go about preparing their meal.

By evening the story of this cure, as well as of the exorcism in the synagogue, had circulated through the town.  All the sick and possessed persons in Capernaum were brought to Jesus to be cured, and a large crowd gathered at the door of Simon’s house.

Serene amidst this confusion, Jesus laid His hands on the afflicted ones and cured them, fulfilling what Isaiah said: “He Himself took  up our infirmities, and bore the burden  of our ills.”  But He silenced the castout devils, for they knew He was the Christ.

Mark 1:21-34  |  Matthew 8:14-17  |  Luke 4:31-41

Meditation:  Our Lord has complete control over devils.  He allows them to perform their evil work; but when He wills it,  He can put a stop to their activities.  When we are tempted to make an unkind remark or perform an unkind action, we can ask God to help us overcome the devil; and He will.  A sincere repetition of the aspiration “My Jesus, mercy,” for example, will bring His help in overcoming temptation.

Information from The Life of Christ “Our Lord’s Life with Lesson in His Own Words for Our Life Today”  The Catholic Press, Inc. 1959.  37-38.   © 1954 edited by Reverend John P. O’Connell, MASTD and Jex Martin, following mainly A Chronological Harmony of the Gospels by Stephen J Hartdegen OFM NIHIL OBSTAT John A McMahon; IMPRIMATUR Samuel Cardinal Stritch, Archbishop of Chicago August 1, 1953.  Print.  Drawing by Albert H Winkler.

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