1st Week of Ordinary Time (15th January, 2019)
First Reading: Heb 2:5-12
Gospel: Mk 1:21-28
Today’s account of Jesus driving out the unclean spirit clearly proclaims the message of Jesus that where there is kingdom of God, there is no place for uncleanliness. It was the mission of Jesus to bring about the kingdom of God. It necessitated that he does so not only by His preaching but also by His actions as well. In other words, his role was to eradicate the unclean spirits or those against the kingdom values and usher in God’s active presence there.
The unclean spirits in the gospel manifested themselves not only as illnesses of body and mind but also through various psychological disorders like cruelty, greed, pride, suspicion, jealousy, intolerance etc. These signs of unclean spirits were completely contradictory to God’s signs of love, peace and joy as well as hinder experience of God’s presence in their lives. It is for this that Jesus intended to drive away evils so that people experience joy, peace and happiness. That cannot be possible as long as one is possessed of unclean spirit.
We too are sent out on the same mission. We can see various forms of unclean spirits rampant everywhere. We are called to drive out both within ourselves and everywhere any maladies that hinder God’s love. We need to do it through prayer, fasting and acts of mercy and love. We shall well recall the instance when the disciples express their inability to drive out the demons. To their inability, Jesus says, “This kind cannot be driven out by anything but prayer” (Mk 9:29). Thus, when we have set ourselves on the mission of preaching the good news and spread His kingdom, we too are called to be free from any uncleanliness in ourselves and other too so that all may experience God’s active presence in us. Amen.