According to Mark 1,21-28
don Alberto / Homily of IV Sunday 2021 January 31 IV during the year B
Figuring out the piece that we will listen to today is very simple. Mark the evangelist, essential in his way of narrating, takes us to the synagogue on a Saturday – as if today we were saying: going to church on Sunday. What matters, of course, is not the place but the people and what happens.
People are attentive and also amazed in listening to Jesus’s teaching. Suddenly, however, something happens that is even more surprising, because someone present is annoyed by his words. Shouting, he questions Jesus who, however, unmasking him, orders him to be silent. The fact causes wonder among those present who questioned one another. Let’s listen to the episode and allow ourselves to be questioned too.
If you can, read now the Gospel according Mark 1, 21-28
An episode that offers many provocations. Not to Jesus, of course, but to us. Because – as we often repeat – the Word is alive today, and must create in the listener not an impression or discussion, but answers and novelty. We must not let ourselves be deceived: Jesus does not speak and work to amaze, but to convert. To understand better we need to remember the first words that Mark places on Jesus’ mouth – we heard them last Sunday: “The time is fulfilled and the kingdom is near. Be converted and believe in the gospel”. Today’s is the first miracle that Mark reports: the liberation of a man from an impure spirit. He helps us to understand how Jesus goes from words to deeds. We repeat: wonder is not enough for Jesus, but he wants conversion: the new life. And he gets it. In fact – and this may already seem strange – while everyone is there to listen and comment on his way of speaking and his authority, limiting themselves to wonder, the question is pinpointed by a man possessed – not him, of course, but by who serves of his voice -: “What do you want from us, Jesus the Nazarene?”. It is true, Jesus does not allow him to speak; but in the meantime the question remains with us, as well as their truth about Jesus: “I know who you are: the saint of God!”.
We do not know if that man, freed, became his disciple or if he was among those who went to spread fame in the surrounding villages and towns. But it is certain that we are that man today, and it is from us that Jesus expects us to welcome his word and allow ourselves to be freed. Paying attention that, if we do not strive to do good, evil revolves around us, even when it is not already within us.
What to do and how? We find the answer if we do not stop and ask ourselves: “Who is this?”, but if we take seriously the question: “What does Jesus want from us?”. Let us not limit ourselves to a hasty and reassuring answer, because that is not enough for God; but let us commit ourselves to actualizing an answer that leads us to conversion.
And therefore may this be, day after day, for our whole life that every day becomes new in Love.
Starting sentence: If you not give God the freedom to live in your heart , someone else is already ready to occupy it with deception.