The focus of the Scripture readings this Sunday is on the person and mission of Jesus. That God invites us to deepen our relationship with Jesus which transforms our human weakness and unites us with him and his mission. It is a loving invitation. God lovingly invites each one of us to follow Jesus and to give ourselves to a life of love and service of God and neighbor.

In the first reading, God promised to Moses that “I shall raise a prophet who will be like you. I will put my word in his mouth.” That promise had been fulfilled in Jesus Christ. So the Gospel’s today begins with Jesus entering the town of Capernaum and teaching in the synagogue. Let us pay attention to the sentence: Jesus taught in the synagogue on the Sabbath day. As the people listened to Jesus, they were astonished as Jesus taught with such authority, unlike the scribes. We may ask, why did the teaching of Jesus have such an impact on the people? Because his teaching came from his personal experience, so that the words of Jesus had the power to move people’s hearts. People listened to Jesus because he was a living witness to the truth of God’s love. He showed this love by the way he lived. People experienced God’s mercy and compassion in his actions. He reached out to the sick and less privileged, those who were neglected or excluded by society. Jesus taught with authority, not only because he was God, but also because his words were always accompanied by his deeds.

While the people were astonished at the way he taught, a man with unclean spirit came and shouted: “What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? I know who you are, the Holy One of God.” Jesus immediately ordered him: “Be silent, and come out of him!” The unclean spirit obeyed instantly and came out. This action moved people to exclaim: ‘Here is a teaching that is new, and with authority behind it’. The authority of Jesus’ teaching is manifested, above all, in his actions.

The deliverance of the man possessed by the unclean spirit testifies that the authority of Jesus is come from God. The deliverance of the man kept them wondering about the person and mission of Jesus. Because, at that time, people feared evil spirits and demonic possession. People believed that demonic possession was the cause of certain sicknesses and deformities such as leprosy, lameness, paralysis. But the unclean spirit could not withstand the presence of Jesus. Jesus has power over any demon, so whatever our unclean spirit may be, Jesus can set us free and he longs to do so. Jesus invites us to come to him with trusting faith so that he may free us from the evil spirits as well as from all the “evil spirits” of fear, compulsions, selfishness, anger, resentment and hostility. Jesus came to set us free. Whenever we come to Jesus, he grants that power to us, not just once but as often as we need to be transformed, until finally, we are free from these demons entirely. So, let Jesus be the source of liberation for us. May Jesus free us from all those spirits which make us deaf, dumb, blind, lame, and paralyzed, physically and spiritually.

Being Jesus’ disciples, we are supposed to be like Christ. Therefore, we become living witness for Jesus with authority. We must stay very close to the person and message of Jesus, and learn from him, and experience his compassion and love for all people. Our words will also become powerful, if by our lives, we truly give witness to the power of Jesus, the power to serve, to love, to heal, to console, to liberate and to save. We become the living and concrete instruments of Jesus in his work of salvation.