Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time - 31 January 2021

“What do you want with us, Jesus of Nazareth?”

An explosive question then, and for us now!

What do you want or, as the popular demonstrations shout, “What do WE want?”, never a cry of “What can we do for you?” tends to dominate our world. Somehow the demon recognises that there is power in this man, this Jesus of Nazareth, power to change situations.

Whatever the demon was then, and there are more demons in our lives than the ‘demon drink’, the same truth remains today for us, there is a power for change available for us.

Many proclaim that they are agents of change. Some with bullets, others with powerful media campaigns. Some with smart slick personal presentations, others with veiled threats. They are the powerful external forces that tend to want change on their untested terms. Their form of change is often simply replacing one form of demon with another!

 Each of us has our own personal demon or demons.

 Can we confront them? Can we be delivered from them?

 The Gospel suggests that the people of Capernaum, on this occasion, recognised Jesus as a good, positive and powerful person. They were impressed. We do not know what he taught on this occasion. What we do know is that on another occasion, people from this same town took him up a hill to kill him. Whatever they heard on that occasion did not lead them to consider, let alone change, their ways. Maybe the big picture gives us hope. Jesus did not give up on people when they failed to listen, to accept or to change. He will not give up on us when, yet again, we backslide. A bit like Thomas… it took many lessons for him to be able to say with conviction, “My Lord and my God”.

 Let each of us continue to listen to his invitation to change and rid ourselves of our demons!

 Mons Frank