Sem. Ian Granada
This Sunday, it is interesting to note the subtleties of the Gospel reading. On one hand, we see Jesus speaking with authority, yet people are looking for answers where did he got all this authority in his speech and talk. On the other extreme, we see how the unclean spirit knew of Jesus. What exactly does the author wants us to see and understand?
When I studied Christology last year, one important tenet that I learned was the identity of Jesus. Jesus is auto-basileia. Jesus is the manifestation of the Kingdom of God itself. In his person, life and words; the Kingdom of God is fully manifested and revealed.
This Kingdom-in-the-person-of-Jesus is not merely a kingdom made of place. Rather it is a state of kingship, a reign of goodness, the ultimate triumph of Good over Evil. The gospel of Mark has the same intention of presenting Jesus as such. It is noteworthy that we found ourselves with Jesus inside the Synagogue in the Gospel today. According to one scholar, this means the continuation of the revelation of God to Israel; the fulfillment of God’s steadfast love from the Law (Torah) and the Prophets. Jesus is not a bubble in history where God suddenly appeared out of nowhere. Jesus’ manifestation of the Kingdom of God is the ultimate expression of God’s revelation of Godself. From eternity to time, the Triune God waited for years to bear fruit the fullness of time; from Abraham, our father in Faith, to the Law and Covenant revealed and offered to Israel, to the mouths of the prophets, the Son of God is the summit of all revelation of God’s love and justice.
This continuity rolls over to us today. As we received Jesus in our lives and histories, our existence or life is no longer a matter of birth to death. This life becomes a gospel according to our life and history. Our life now can be called, “The Holy Gospel according to (Your Name).” Our life becomes hallowed, sacred, and divine because just like Jesus became a human person like you and me, all our life through the grace of Baptism is now a good news, a Gospel of Jesus.
Whenever I meditate on this reality, life becomes more bearable, meaningful, and purposeful. I sometimes think that God simply wants our attention; our act of love where we lovingly offer our life to God through Jesus. When we do this, our life becomes meaningful. Problems will continue, uncertainties and anxieties will still be there but if we will fondly remember that this life is of God, one that hallowed and redeemed by Jesus in the cross, then our life becomes a life of faith, hope, and love.
We know Jesus already, he is the Son of God, the Messiah, the Christ. In our world today, we may find Jesus not only as the answer to our countless questions, but like the people in the Gospel today ask, “He is posing questions to my life as if he knows me personally?”
Jesus is inviting us to form a personal relationship with him. As my Spiritual Director told me, we were trained and taught always how to pray to God but forgot to listen to His promptings and inspiration. This ordinary time, let us start the habit of praying and being silent to the voice of God. Through this personal relationship, we can gradually rediscover Jesus, not only as a Nazarean or prophet, but the glorious Son of God who loves us like that of Our Father in heaven.