Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The Amazing & Astonishing Jesus of Nazareth!

"Be quiet! Come out of him."
Today's Readings

When was the last time you were truly amazed and astonished?  Were you at a magic show?  Were you watching some great feat of athletic skill?  Were you reading a good book that touched something deep inside you?  Did you witness a real miracle?

We are all amazed and astonished at different times in our lives and for different reasons.  Just last night my youngest son was amazed and astonished to see this strange creature we call a Praying Mantis crawling over the playground equipment.

In today's Gospel the hearers of Jesus are amazed and astonished at his words.  They are astonished because He speaks with authority.  They were amazed because His words have power, even over the demons.

One group, however, is neither amazed nor astonished by Jesus words.  Rather, this group is simply obedient because they have no other choice.  Having been cast out of heaven long ago, they have no free-will and must therefore obey.  The demons are neither amazed nor astonished.  They know who He is and are fearful.

The question for us today is, "which group are we in?"  Are we amazed and astonished with each new reading of the scriptures?  Or, are we indifferent, since we suppose we "know" Jesus?  It would be good for us to regain some of that amazement and astonishment.  Let us look at some of Jesus' words and their effect...


"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. (Lk 4:35)

“I will do it. Be made clean.” His leprosy was cleansed immediately. (Mt 8:3)

“Stretch out your hand.” He stretched it out, and it was restored as sound as the other. (Mt 12:13)

“Young man, I tell you, arise!”  The dead man sat up and began to speak, and Jesus gave him to his mother.

It is also good for us to keep in mind that we, mankind, out of all creation, are the only beings that can ignore, be indifferent to, and even disobey the words of Jesus.  Angels worship him, they chose to long ago.  Demons obey him, their free-will is gone.  Even inanimate material obeys the power of His words - wind and waves stop, water becomes wine, and bread and wine become His body and blood...by the power and authority of His words.

Lord, give us the sense of amazement and astonishment at your words today.  May we look at them with fresh eyes and may they change us to be more like you!

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