“Jesus rebuked him and said, ‘Quiet! Come out of him!’
The unclean spirit convulsed him and with a loud cry came out of him.”
It is always interesting to me how clearly the unclean spirits see who Christ is. For them, Christ as the One who represents God the Father inspires fear and rebellion. But even these unclean spirits, hearing his voice, begrudgingly obey. Jesus teaches with authority, as the people standing by admit of him. This is a teaching that cannot be ignored. Each person may hear it and respond differently, but they do respond. Many hear his voice and follow. Others turn away.
In these early days of Ordinary Time, we essentially have the continuation of the Epiphany event. We continue to see Christ manifest in our midst, and continue to decide what to make of him. Today we see him as one who teaches with authority and who has authority over even the unclean spirits within us. Today he speaks to our sinfulness, to our brokenness, to our addictions, to our fallenness, to our procrastinations, to whatever debilitates us and saddens us and says “Quiet! Come out!”
This Epiphany of Christ as dispossessor of demons is an epiphany that does more than just heal us. It is an epiphany that calls us out of darkness, that insists we come out of our hiding and step into the light, so that the light of God’s love can give us rest from all those demons that possess us.