Mark 1:21-28
21 And they went into Caper’na-um; and immediately on the sabbath he entered the synagogue and taught. 22 And they were astonished at his teaching, for he taught them as one who had authority, and not as the scribes. 23 And immediately there was in their synagogue a man with an unclean spirit; 24 and he cried out, “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.” 25 But Jesus rebuked him, saying, “Be silent, and come out of him!” 26 And the unclean spirit, convulsing him and crying with a loud voice, came out of him. 27 And they were all amazed, so that they questioned among themselves, saying, “What is this? A new teaching! With authority he commands even the unclean spirits, and they obey him.” 28 And at once his fame spread everywhere throughout all the surrounding region of Galilee.

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Homily by Bishop Robert Barron

… today’s Gospel finds Jesus encountering a man with an unclean spirit in the synagogue at Capernaum. Isn’t it interesting that the first unclean spirit that Jesus confronts is in the holy place, the place of worship? And what marks this man? Though he is a single person, an individual, he speaks in the plural: “What do you have to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us?”

The diabolic is, literally, a scattering power: diabalein. Sin separates us from one another—Sunde, related to sundering—but it also divides us interiorly, setting one part of the self against another. We’ve all experienced this: our minds are divided, our wills are split and our emotions militate against our deepest convictions

The authoritative voice of Jesus brings the man back to himself. And friends, this is precisely the effect that Jesus’ voice has had up and down the ages. When you allow his word to reach deep down within you, you get knitted back together. When Jesus becomes the clear center of your life, then your mind, your will, your emotions, your private life, your public life—all of it—finds its harmonious place around that center

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“Inasmuch as we have one Father in heaven, God, we are all brothers of Christ, and it matters not from which city or country we are gathered here or whether our parentage be noble or lowly. The one God created all of us, governs us, and cares for us; He has called us by His external word, and daily by interior contrition He calls us to the one beatitude, our final end. This one God has promised to give Himself to us as our future reward in the presence of the angels and amid the universal happiness of the citizens of heaven. Therefore, since we are called by this one God, redeemed by one price, and imbued by the one Spirit, let us endeavor to love and serve one another. If we wish to be pleasing to Christ, then let us bear one another’s burdens and in charity pray for one another, for God is in each of us, and each of us is in God.”
— Thomas à Kempis

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“As the pilot of a vessel is tried in the storm; as the wrestler is tried in the ring, the soldier in the battle, and the hero in adversity: so is the Christian tried in temptation.”

— St. Basil the Great

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