1Cor2:10b-16; Ps145:8-14; Lk4:31-37
The Kingdom of God is a Kingdom for all ages. The Lord Jesus Christ came to make known to men the wondrous might and glorious splendor of the Kingdom of God. In his preaching the Lord revealed the splendor of truth and in his ministry of exorcism he revealed that his dominion is real and it endures through all generations. The Lord Jesus is gracious and merciful to all who approach him in their broken and wounded condition, with all the Lord Jesus is slow to anger and of great kindness. Indeed, the Lord is good to all and compassionate toward all his works. All his works give thanks, and his faithful ones bless his holy name. Indeed, they discourse of the glory of the Kingdom of God and speak of his might. As Saint Paul makes clear the ministry of the Lord Jesus continues in and through the Holy Spirit in his ministry and in the ministry of the church. It is the Holy Spirit who scrutinizes everything, even the depths of God. In his scrutiny of the depths of man the power and presence of the evil one is uncovered. The Lord Jesus is swift and simple in his exorcism. He rebukes without hesitation all that is of the dominion of darkness. We have nothing to fear. Indeed, this good news must spread everywhere.
The church still prays to cast out unclean spirits. In preparation for the celebration of Baptism, there are several exorcisms that often take place during Sunday Liturgies toward the end of lent. This is the most public and most familiar ritual of exorcism in our prayer as a church. However, there are still some more serious and well-discerned situations in which the church assigns a priest and a formal ritual of exorcism is administered. It is by the Holy Spirit that the church scrutinizes everything in the depths of God and man. The world and the natural man do not accept what pertains to the Spirit of God. To such men it is foolishness, and they cannot understand. However, one who is spiritual, who accepts and welcomes the Holy Spirit into his heart and head, begins to judge everything with the mind of Christ. This transformation of our thinking enables us to go beyond mere observation and to see what science cannot see. As we grown in Spirit and in Truth, we begin to think the way God does. We see human beings as they are, an end in themselves, not as a means to another end. We are never to treat people as if they were objects. Such respect for human life from natural beginning to natural end, and to respect spiritual realities with a healthy hesitation and even fear, is a vital part of our witness in the world and among all the People of God.
After his first homily and his first rejection from the hometown synagogue, the Lord Jesus begins a journey to Capernaum, a town in Galilee. As the Gospel according to Saint Luke unfolds, the Lord Jesus is well received in Galilee and it becomes the home for his mission band of brothers. However, even this positive reception is filled with astonishment because the Lord spoke with authority and not like the scribes. The Lord Jesus had an authority that was recognized even by the unclean spirits around him. A loud voice from within a possessed man confronted him in the town of Capernaum, “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!” Without hesitation the Lord Jesus rebuked him and told him to be silent and come out. The unclean spirit had no power to resist the voice of God in the words of Jesus. The possessed man fell over, but he was not harmed. Only the demon was harmed, rebuked, cast out. Only the unclean spirit had no staying power. He fled the presence of the Holy One of God and never came back. The crowd was not familiar with such power, the power of the Almighty here and among us, ready, willing and able to save us, from despair and evil. We are called to the same kind of ministry, Spirit Filled and Christ Commanded so that the good news of the Lord Jesus may spread everywhere in the surrounding region, so that this region of our world will become a place of holiness, compassion, and Light Divine, all lights exceeding.