3 September 2013. Tuesday of the Twenty Second Week
1 Th 5:1ff. The day of the Lord comes like a thief in the night. Be ready.
Lk 4:31ff. On the sabbath Jesus teaches with authority and drives out demons.
First Reading: 1 Thessalonians 5:1-6, 9-11
Now concerning the times and the seasons, brothers and sisters, you do not need to have anything written to you. For you yourselves know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. When they say, “There is peace and security,” then sudden destruction will come upon them, as labour pains come upon a pregnant woman, and there will be no escape! But you, beloved, are not in darkness, for that day to surprise you like a thief; for you are all children of light and children of the day; we are not of the night or of darkness. So then let us not fall asleep as others do, but let us keep awake and be sober. For God has destined us not for wrath but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, so that whether we are awake or asleep we may live with him. Therefore encourage one another and build up each other, as indeed you are doing.
He went down to Capernaum, a city in Galilee, and was teaching them on the sabbath. They were astounded at his teaching, because he spoke with authority. In the synagogue there was a man who had the spirit of an unclean demon, and he cried out with a loud voice, “Let us alone! 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.” But Jesus rebuked him, saying, “Be silent, and come out of him!” When the demon had thrown him down before them, he came out of him without having done him any harm. They were all amazed and kept saying to one another, “What kind of utterance is this? For with authority and power he commands the unclean spirits, and out they come!” And a report about him began to reach every place in the region.
Alert to What?
A popular theme of both Jesus and St. Paul is the need for keeping alert, in order to stay close to God and live our life according to God’s will. Ironically, in today’s Gospel story the person most alert to Jesus’ presence is the unclean spirit which, as it was being driven out of a possessed man, makes a frenzied confession, “I know who you are, the Holy One of God!”
If we stay regularly aware of Jesus’ unseen presence in our lives, it helps us to live by his values and guidance, and so, in Paul’s phrase, live as “children of the light and children of the day”. This is the lifestyle that brings people to God.