The Gospel reading from the Mass for Sunday Cycle B for the 4th Week of Ordinary Time is Mark 1:21-28.

After calling His first apostles (Simon, Andrew, James and John) along the Sea of Galilee, Christ walks to Capernaum. In this fishing/agricultural town on the Sea of Galilee that has a population of several thousand, Jesus establishes the base for His Galilean ministry.

Christ teaches in the synagogue on the Sabbath and, in contrast to the closed minds of Nazareth, He astounds men for His “word” has great authority and power, surpassing the scribes. Sensing the Divine and filled with great fear, demons in a possessed man are, ironically, the first to speak the name of Jesus in Mark’s Gospel, proclaiming Jesus to be “the Holy One of God.” The demons, with supernatural perception, realize the infinite power of Christ and His ability to destroy them with a word.  Instead, Christ commands them to be silent about His identity and casts them out of the man, who though tossed about, is made well.

The men of the synagogue, who likely had known the torture of the demon-possessed man, are amazed (overwhelming wonder) at the miracle they have witnessed; they see an exorcism up close and the return of the possessed man to health and sanity. Those who witness Christ’s power are so awed by the miracle that they immediately spread the news about Jesus to all the surrounding region.

Awed by Jesus ChristSon of God, Christ has absolute power over Creation, including the demons who fell with Satan and roam the earth. Divine Prophet, Christ is recognized as a teacher who has an amazing ability to authoritatively interpret Scripture. Divine Physician, Christ heals supernatural demon possession with simple commands. Divine King, Christ controls when, where and how His mission will be fulfilled.

Being a Heroic Catholic Man

1) Modern “horror” movies and the reactions of men in the Bible to evil demons confirm men’s natural fear of the demonic. Marvel at how Christ’s Divinity frightens demons while He remains unafraid.

2) In contrast to the modern belief that “demonic possession” is simply mental or physical illness, Christ repeatedly confirms that Satan and demons are real. Refresh your understanding of Satan and Demons (CCC 409, 421, 447, 539, 550, 566, 635-636, 1086, 1708, 2850-2854) and pray for Christ to help you recognize Satan’s continual temptations and to deliver you from the Evil One.

3) In contrast to the demons who are terrified and the men who are awed by Christ’s power, many men have lost the fear of God, foolishly presuming Jesus to be their easy-going “buddy.” Reflect upon the Fear of God (CCC 1041, 1303, 1831, 1949, 2084, 2116, 2144, 2150) and pray for Christ to give you the Gift of the Holy Spirit of fearing God.