04Sep 04 September. Tuesday, Week 22

1st Reading: 1 Corinthians (2:10-16)

If taught by the Spirit of God we can judge rightly and know our inmost self

These things God has revealed to us through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God. For what person knows a man’s thoughts except the spirit of the man which is in him? So also no one comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit which is from God, that we might understand the gifts bestowed on us by God. And we impart this in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual truths to those who possess the Spirit.

The unspiritual man does not receive the gifts of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because the are spiritually discerned. The spiritual man judges all things, but is himself to be judged by no one. “For who has known the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?” But we have the mind of Christ.

Resp. Psalm (Ps 145)

R.: The Lord is faithful in all his ways

The Lord is gracious and merciful,
slow to anger and of great kindness.
The Lord is good to all
compassionate toward all his works. (R./)

Let all your works give you thanks, O Lord,
and let your faithful ones bless you.
Let them speak of the glory of your reign,
and speak of your might o Lord,
making known to men your great deeds
and the glorious splendour of your reign.. (R./)

Yours is an everlasting kingdom,
and your dominion endures through all generations.
The Lord is faithful in all his words
and holy in all his works.
The Lord lifts up all who are falling
and raises up all who are bowed down. (R./)

Gospel: Luke (4:31-37)

Jesus teaches in the synagogue and drives out demons, by divine authority

Jesus 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.



Mostly, life plods quietly along, routine setting the pace of each day. But Paul urges a sprightlier, more positive vision: “All of you are children of light and of the day. We belong neither to darkness nor to night.” Our better nature may be lurking in the shadows of our character. It can be a healthy purification to accept ourselves, “warts and all”. But we cannot see the full truth about ourselves without  the Holy Spirit. Paul says: “The unspiritual person does not accept the gifts of the Spirit of God.” We need the Spirit to know our inner selves and realise our full potential.

The Gospel suggests that on any given day Jesus can come suddenly and drive out our fear or anger or despondency. Like the people in that synagogue, we can let ourselves be spellbound by his teaching, for his words have authority and ring of truth. He can speak to our heart and open up the dark of our sub-conscious and give us new energy for living. Through attending to the Scriptures and prayer, we are regularly in Jesus’ presence, waiting for those turning points that only he can produce in us.

He came not to destroy

When a disturbed person angrily asked Jesus, ‘What do you want with us? Have you come to destroy us?’ he did not withdraw in the face of this aggression but instead brought healing and peace. So often in the gospels, Jesus does not respond in kind to those who oppose him. Even as he hung from the cross, he prayed for those who had put him there, ‘Father, forgive them for they know not what they do?’

The Lord does not relate to us as we so often relate to him. His relating to us is always more generous and loving than our way of relating to him. Seeing Jesus’ meeting with the disturbed man in the synagogue the people were amazed at his authority. Jesus exercises his authority by showing love and kindness to those who have no claim on it except their need. In that way he shows us what real authority looks like.


(Saint Mac Nissi, bishop)

Mac Nissi (died 514) was an early Irish saint known as the founder of the see of Connor, in what is now Co. Antrim. In the Tripartite Life of St. Patrick, he is called a disciple of St. Olcán, Bishop of Armoy. Mac Nissi is thought to have been at Kells as a hermit earlier in his life and is considered the founder of Kells monastery.

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