Tuesday of the Second Week in Ordinary Time
(I Samuel 1:9-20; Mark 1:21-28)
God makes a great concession to Moses when He tells him his name. Now Moses may call on God whenever he desires a favor. It is like being in a crowd and grabbing the attention of a personality because you call him by a private name. The unclean spirit in today’s gospel attempts to use the name card on Jesus but without success.
After Jesus teaches “with authority,” he demonstrates the extent of his power. When he notices a man possessed by the devil, he orders it to leave. The devil, aware of whom Jesus is, calls him by name. Of course, everyone knows Jesus’ name. The unclean spirit, however, knows Jesus by a private name, “the Holy One of God.” The ploy fails, however, because the kingdom of God has broken in. The power of evil has been vanquished. Jesus has effectively shut the evil spirit up.
Jesus has come to reestablish a personal relationship between God and humans. We will now be heard when we call upon the Father by name. Or we might call upon Jesus by name to the same effect. The kingdom that has taken over creates an atmosphere of trust. God will assist us when we call upon Him with sincerity of heart.