Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time – 31 January 2021

When nature shows its real power through snow, ice, rain and wind, we realise how powerless we can be. The elemental power of nature can easily disable our technology, disrupt the schedules and systems we create, and throw everything into chaos. We like to think we are in control but we aren’t.


That can give us a glimpse into the heart and mind of the man who came to Jesus in today’s Gospel reading. We can only imagine what his life must have been like, to have this demon within you, ruling your life, destroying everything you hold dear.


Then, one day he came to the synagogue and he met the power of Jesus because this man did not need ideas, but the grace and power of God to set him free.


There are forces and demons in our life, forces of evil outside of us and forces of evil inside of us that can control our life. Sometimes we think that if we just have the right ideas, read a little bit more and get more information that we can somehow think ourselves into spiritual freedom, when what we really need is the power and grace of God.


There are demons that can take control of our life such as hate, prejudice, greed, gluttony and lust. These are all powers that would destroy our life and rob us of the freedom, dignity and purpose God has for us.


They can be like a storm out of control. We seem to be at their mercy. Then comes the moment when the sun starts to shine, the storm is over and we are no longer paralysed by it.


That is like the power of Jesus Christ in our lives. Just as the snow and ice gives way to the strength of the sun, so the power that seems to dominate our life can recede before the power of the risen Christ.


Today, people want freedom from the powers that dominate their life. So often, they turn to superstition, psychics and charms which are not helpful.


As Christians, we need to avoid superstitions. We need to avoid anything that diminishes, dilates, divides, weakens and fragments the most precious gift we have – our faith, our trust in Jesus Christ.


Whatever the forces we battle, we know that One stronger than this is among us.


There are a lot of things around us that promise us liberation and end up making us slaves or addicts. The power and authority of Jesus Christ is the only power on earth that doesn’t dominate us but really sets us free.


Whatever the demons or struggles in our life, demons from the past, demons in the present, what Jesus did for the man in the synagogue He can do for us. Let us recognise among us the

One who has the power to cast out our demons. Who seeks to enter our hearts and lives. Who wants to make us faithful and whole.

Fr Andrew