The first reading and the gospel for today both address the mystery of Jesus Christ. Jesus is truly God but He humbled Himself to take on human form. He was not born into royalty, but chose to be born in the home of a poor carpenter. Since He had been given no privileges, when He spoke with such authority in public places, people were astonished. According to the gospel, they remarked: “Is this not Jesus, son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How does He now say, ‘I have come down out of heaven’?” John 6:42
Under normal circumstances, the son of a poor man should not have had the ability to speak with authority concerning scripture, and yet Jesus even cast out demons from those who were possessed. The Bible defines demons as fallen angels that turned against God. Although not dogma of Catholicism, there are theories that one of the reasons these angels “fell” was because they could not accept being subordinate to Jesus, who “for a little while” was made “lower than the angels,” that “by the grace of God, he might taste death for everyone.” Hebrews 2:9. Demons hate the idea of having to follow someone who seems to be “lower” than they are.
However, even when Jesus was in human form, the true strength and power of His divine nature shone through, and He made these fallen angels cower before Him in fear. Despite Christ’s humility, His authority over the demons rendered them powerless.
“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.” Mark 1:24-27
The inhabitants of the world today continue to seek leaders who establish their power through force. It is understandable that just like the people who witnessed Jesus cast out demons, we would question how anyone who comes from poverty could perform such deeds. Even the most humble among us can change the world. If we speak with the authority given to us through faith in Jesus Christ, we can make demons tremble, simply by living in accordance with the way Jesus showed us, humbling ourselves and following His every word.
One thought on “True God and True Man”
I remember a priest talking on the subject of demons and how they actually fear human beings who are not afraid to denounce them with authority. The priest made the point that these demons, and even Satan himself, fear these mortals even more than God, because God is all-powerful and has actually conquered the evil one and his minions. But we are “lower than the angels” and for us to boldly speak out against these evil forces takes great courage and gives us power to reject the temptations with which demons plague us. Thank you for your insights in this reflection–we are all called to follow in the steps of Jesus by speaking with authority to spread the Word of the Lord.