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Sunday’s Reading: Authority & Exorcism (Mark 1) – 5 Quotes from the Fathers

Sunday’s Reading: Authority & Exorcism (Mark 1) – 5 Quotes from the Fathers

Complement your discussions and meditations on today’s Sunday Reading with 5 quotes from the fathers of the Church. Today, at Mass, St. Mark the Evangelist describes Christ’s authoritative teaching in the Capernaum synagogue, His exorcism of a demon and the spreading of His fame throughout Galilee.

Today we have thoughts from from St. Bede, Theophylact, St. Augustine, St. John Chrysostom, and St. Jerome. Legwork complementary of St. Thomas Aquinas.

Gospel Reading for the 4th Sunday in Ordinary Time: Mark 1:21-28
  1. St. Mark the Evangelist
    Then they came to Capernaum, and on the sabbath Jesus entered the synagogue and taught. The people were astonished at his teaching, for he taught them as one having authority and not as the scribes. In their synagogue was a man with an unclean spirit; he cried out, “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 and said, “Quiet! Come out of him!” The unclean spirit convulsed him and with a loud cry came out of him. All were amazed and asked one another, “What is this? A new teaching with authority. He commands even the unclean spirits and they obey him.” His fame spread everywhere throughout the whole region of Galilee.

    St. Mark the Evangelist

  2. Bede
    The Scribes themselves taught the people what was written in Moses and the Prophets: but Jesus as the God and Lord of Moses himself, by the freedom of His own will, either added those things which appeared wanting in the Law, or altered things as He preached to the people; as we read in Matthew, It was said to them of old time, but I say to you.

    St. Bede

  3. Theophylact
    Christ taught them by rebuke, not by flattery as did the Pharisees; wherefore it says, And they were astonished at his doctrine; for he taught them as one having power, and not as the Scribes. He taught them also in power, transforming men to good, and he threatened punishment to those who did not believe on Him.

    Theophylact

  4. St. Augustine
    For He was known to them [demons] in that degree in which He wished to be known; and He wished as much as was fitting. He was not known to them as to the Holy Angels, who enjoy Him by partaking of His eternity according as He is the Word of God; but as he was to be made known in terror, to those beings from whose tyrannical power He was about to free the predestinate. He was known therefore to the devils, not in that He is eternal Life, but by some temporal effects of His Power, which might be more clear to the angelic senses of even bad spirits than to the weakness of men.

    St. Augustine

  5. John Chrysostom
    The word Spirit is applied to an Angel, the air, the soul, and even the Holy Ghost. Lest therefore by the sameness of the name we should fall into error, he adds, unclean. And he is called unclean on account of his impiousness and far removal from God, and because he employs himself in all unclean and wicked works.

    St. John Chrysostom

  6. jerome
    Moreover, Capernaum is mystically interpreted the town of consolation, and the sabbath as rest. The man with an evil spirit is healed by rest and consolation, that the place and time may agree with his healing. This maim with an unclean spirit is the human race, in which uncleanness reigned from Adam to Moses; for they sinned without law, and perished without law. And he, knowing the Holy One of God, is ordered to hold his peace, for they knowing God did not glorify him as God, but rather served the creature than the Creator. The spirit tearing the man came out of him. When salvation is near, temptation is at hand also. Pharaoh, when about to let Israel go, pursues Israel; the devil, when despised, rises up to create scandals.

    St. Jerome

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