JESUS DRIVES OUT A DEMON
There is a powerful urgency here in Mark’s Gospel that is easily missed because of the way we read the Bible. We are most likely to read the Bible in small doses. We take a verse, or section or maybe a chapter of scripture and read it to gain insight for our daily living.
Devotional reading is quite valuable to the soul, but we can see different aspects of scriptural truth when we look at the sweep of the story. Let’s look at the beginning of Mark’s Gospel more from a literary perspective to see what the author intends.
The first chapter of Mark is very compact and action oriented. In a mere 28 sentences, we have the ministry of John the Baptist, the baptism of Jesus, the temptation of Jesus in the wilderness, the arrest of John, the calling of the disciples, and this first episode of teaching and healing in the Synagogue in Capernaum.
That’s six scenes in 28 sentences. Mark is in a hurry to tell this story. Matthew and Luke take almost 5 chapters to get to this point. The next thing we find is that the most common word in this first chapter is “immediately.” In Mark’s Gospel, the word “immediately” appears 31 times in only 15 chapters. It is used more than the words faith, hope and love.
Mark is telling us that Jesus is a man on a mission. At times we can see Jesus as a teacher, someone who takes the time to listen, but here in Mark’s Gospel, Jesus is action-oriented. We read that Jesus amazed people with his teaching. He teaches as one with authority. We aren’t told a single word about his teaching. In fact, in the entire Gospel of Mark, there is only one major parable, the parable of the sower. If you want to know what Jesus taught, you better go to Matthew and Luke. Mark is telling us how Jesus lived and how he died.
In the Mark reading today, we meet our first demon. We shall meet many more of them before Mark is done.
In Mark’s Gospel we face an unholy trinity, the ugly threesome of demons, disease, and death. Jesus is seen confronting and overcoming each of them in turn. They’re inter-connected, of course. Professor Alan Richardson says, “Someone in the Gospels who is possessed or ill is simply suffering from “a mild attack of death””.
Jesus was teaching in the Synagogue – teaching with great authority – when a man possessed with an unclean spirit made himself known. He spoke, “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.”
Jesus rebuked him, “Be silent, and come out of him!”
And there was a convulsing and crying and he came out.
This was Jesus’ first exorcism – not quite as dramatic as the movies would have it, but an exorcism never the less.
Mass Intentions 1st – 8th Feb
6.30pm Mass (Hilda Williams, Rippingale fm.)
Sunday 1st Feb 4th Sunday in Ordinary time
9.00am Mass (For all parishioners
10.45am Coreen Mass
Monday 2nd Presentation of the Lord
9.00am (Marg & Gerry Brown; Alf Rhodes.)
9am Mass (Steve & Tom Curran; Paddy O’Donovan)
9am Mass (All Souls in Purgatory; Judith P.)
Thursday 5th St Agatha
12.00 .Mass (John Hanrahan; Tom Sheridan)
Friday 6th St Paul Miki & Companions
10.00am Mass/Anointing, Karinya. (Arthur & Pat Thompson; Vera & Ron Petteit)
8.45am Rosary & Mass (Merv & Kath Harders; Charlien Howe)
6.30pm Vigil (Marlene Howard; Kath Norris fm)
Sunday 8th 5th Sunday in Ordinary
9.00am Mass (All parishioners)
Remember in Prayer
Kevin Lovell, Imelda Gauci, Vince Fitzgerald, John Lyons,
Joan Sandral, Pauline Kerr,
Cliff Broderick, John Hickey,
Mark Fitzgibbon, Pat Kelly
SYNOD – THE FAMILY – RESPONSES
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Sunday Mass Roster 7th – 8th Jan
6.30pm O’Halloran Fm
6.30pm J & P Schnelle
9.00am E & B Christy
6.30pm C Salmon I Brooks
9.00am K Flower K King
Altar; M Doyle
6.30pm D & E Clohessy
9.00am T Maroney
6.30pm: D Forge
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Collection: T Maroney
Counting: M Kelly
4/2 Tues .Priests Deanary Meeting, Albury.
5/2 5.30pm Sch Deanary Mass Nth Albury.
5/2 5.-8.pm St. Mary’s Swim Carnival-Pool.
9/2 C/R Ministers Meeting at Choc Factory.
13/2 9.30am Opening School Mass for Year.
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