Join us as we reflect, ponder, and pray together inspired by today's Gospel.
Today's Gospel: Luke 9:43b-45
My class of middle school students sat back in their seats looking bored: another day, another class in Christian Studies at a small private school. We read about the virgin birth, prophesied in the Old Testament. One young lady glared at me and announced, “We believe in science at our house.” I realized that this was going to be a long year. To the students, Christian Studies was just another subject. That is, until Jesus expelled a demon in one of the Gospel readings. They appeared to be amazed.
To understand today’s Gospel, we need to put it in context. What amazing deed occurred prior to this passage?
A father pleads with Jesus to heal his son. “Teacher, I beg you to look upon my son, for he is my only child … it convulses him till he foams, and shatters him, and will hardly leave him.” Imagine the next scene. Jesus approaches and the demon intensifies its attack, tearing and convulsing the child. Jesus rebukes the demon and heals the boy, giving him back to his father. Luke’s Gospel tells us that a great crowd witnessed this miracle, and all were “astonished” and came to marvel “at everything He did.”
Bishop Robert Barron once noted that humans react to the near presence of God with awe and fear. The bishop wrote that Christianity “is a relationship to the unsettling Person of Jesus Christ, to the God-man.”
I reflect on this passage and the reaction of my class as they responded with curiosity, perhaps an awakening to the shocking Person of Jesus Christ. Yes, 2,000 years later, Jesus still prods us, even the minds of a sleepy middle school class.
Am I sleepy at church such that my feelings are lukewarm in the presence of Jesus in the Eucharist?
Dear Lord, enliven my faith to Your awesome existence in my life. Help me to grow in wonder, knowing Your deep love for me.
Copyright 2022 Kathryn Swegart