Focusing the Gospel
Key words and phrases: taught, people were astonished, having authority, Holy One of God, Come out of him, with authority
Connecting the Gospel …
To the point: The people in the gospel twice responded to Jesus as one with authority: when he taught them and when he cast out the “unclean spirit.” What was this authority? Both in word and deed Jesus touched people in their need. The people were “astonished” and “amazed” because Jesus was saying and doing something new. He was revealing God's very presence and life—he is “the Holy One of God” among them. And among us.
… to the First Reading: Moses was a prophet who spoke God's word with authority; now Jesus is the One God raises up with authority—not just a prophet, but as the Holy One of God.
… to experience: Thinking of evil in terms of demons and devils keeps us at arm's length. The evil in our world that we must confront is more personal and immediate: violence, poverty, discrimination, etc.