Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Who is this man?

Here in today's gospel reading we encounter Jesus at work in his primary works as the Son of God/Son of Man.  Jesus is no different than any Jew of his time.  It was not out of place for any Jew who wished to do so could stand a speak to the congregation when gathered in the Temple.  Jesus is confronted by an evil spirit in another person gathered in the Temple.  The Jewish people "interpreted" most illnesses as signs of an evil spirit that was or is in the life of the sick person.

There was shock and surprise when Jesus took on the evil spirit.
The people were astonished at his teaching,
for he taught them as one having authority and not as the scribes....
Jesus rebuked him and said, "Quiet! Come out of him!"
The unclean spirit convulsed him and with a loud cry came out of him.
All were amazed and asked one another, 'What is this?
A new teaching with authority.' ( from Mk 1:14-21)

Who is this man?  What is this man?  For the next few months we will be asked to consider these questions as we read through the gospel of Saint Mark.  It is a good question.  It is what is on the mind of so many people already as our nation moves toward another presidential election.  It is the question being asked by people in New Hampshire today about each of the candidates.

As we begin Mark's account of Jesus' life, "Who is this man?" is a powerful question for each of us ... if we actually stop and consider what the question is asking about Jesus.  Too easily we can gloss over the question.  The challenge before is is a good one:  I should be taking the time to delve more deeply into the life of Jesus at it impacts me in this new year.  "Who is this man Jesus?  Am I willing to open my heart and mind to come to know him as never before?"

So here it is folks:  "Who do you say that I am?" might well be the question Jesus is asking you in these early days of January 2012.