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The cure of a demoniac

Gospel Reading: Lk 4:31-37
Jesus 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.

I know who you are – the Holy One of God!

Though the title “the Holy One of God” rightly applies to Jesus (cf Lk 1:35), this is not a profession of faith by the demon but an attempt to gain power over him. In the Bible and among ancient oriental peoples, to name someone is to control him through the knowledge of his power and mission. Elsewhere, in his encounter with the Gerasene demoniac, Jesus asks the possessed man, “What is your name?” Overpowered by Jesus, he replies, “Legion is my name.

There are many of us” (Mk 5:9).

Here in Luke, the demon has an inkling that Jesus is someone close to God who has the power to destroy him. His frantic attempt to control Jesus does not succeed, however. Guided by the Spirit of God, Jesus drives the devil out of the man, without harming him. The people are amazed about Jesus’ word that has authority and power – like the word of God that commanded the universe to come into being at creation.

“Resist the devil, and he will flee from you” (Jas 4:7).

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SOURCE: “365 Days with the Lord 2016,” ST. PAULS Philippines, 7708 St. Paul Rd., SAV, Makati City (Phils.); Tel.: 895-9701; Fax 895-7328; E-mail: books@stpauls.ph; Website: http://www.stpauls.ph.