Pauca Verba is Latin for A Few Words.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Christ Expelling Demons from the Possessed Man

Mark 1: 21-28

This miracle takes place in the synagogue at Capernaum. Only Jesus has a nimbus (halo) and so we might suspect that the others, who are standing around watching, are people from the synagogue. The building in the background is the synagogue itself. That there is a curtain stretched across the top of the building suggests that (as the gospel recounts) the miracle occurred inside, after Jesus had completed his teaching. Notice that Jesus is walking in the icon, as if advancing upon the inner empire which has claimed the poor fellow. The small winged figure between the man's raised arms symbolizes the foreign spirit which Jesus expelled.

One Sabbath in the synagogue, a possessed man was brought to Christ,
who freed him, restoring everything to God.
Let us keep ourselves an inner Sabbath-synagogue -
a place reserved for holiness and God's own shared life.

Ordering the disturbed spirit to Be quiet and depart,
the man was left at peace before the Lord.
Let us open ourselves to that same Word of Christ,
whose friendship saves us from a downcast heart.

As the demon was expelled by Christ,
the man was thrown into convulsions.
O Christ, who convulses my old rebellion,
leave me restored, sound and glad.

Let us pay great attention as Christ's secret is revealed,
I know who you are, Holy one of God.
And so let us be zealous in knowing Jesus the Savior,
whose Word fills our ears with amazement. (Sirach 43:24)

The world is filled with unclean spirit, disturbing forces of rebellion.
But in Christ who exorcises demons, there is God,
whose Kingdom is one of truth and life  -
holiness and grace.

Filled as I am with sensation and impression,
all the more I will marvel at Christ the Lord.
For in his Word I hear the voice of the Father,
and in his glance is revealed God's human face.

Let us go to Christ who teaches with authority.
And as the demons obeyed him, all the more may I:
keeping his commandments,
remaining close to him in love.

The people were astonished and pondered the meaning
when the foul demon had left the man.
In the joyful crowd I will celebrate Christ's teaching,
which frees me from the slavery of my own reasonings.

The possessive spirit was foreign and personal,
hostile, convulsing and loud.
At the voice of Thy thunder shall they be afraid.
At Thy rebuke they will flee. (Psalm 103: 7,8)

The Lord went to Capernaum and taught on the Sabbath;
his teaching made a deep impression on them all.
And so let us be finished with  false teachers in our lives
and choose a way of inner freedom and light.


  1. So rather than thinking of this Gospel only as an exorcism of the devil, we should think of it as our belief in Jesus' love for us as keeping our unclean thoughts or demons at bay?I have heard these Gospels read countless times and never pondered the deeper meaning. This makes it so much more relevant to my life today. Blessings!

  2. Yes! It is a problem for the Church when the preaching enjoins us to simply look at the words and deeds of Jesus, as if from an admiring distance, without helping us to see that the gospel accounts are patterns or themes for our own lives. In other words: name the demons: resentment, fear, hardness of heart, hatred, selfishness, moodiness, a punishing attitude, lack of joy...Invite Jesus to these inner places; enjoin him there to bring us to freedom.