Reflecting on the Gospel for the Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time

From The Gospel of Mark by Mary Healy, reflecting on Mark 1:21-28:

The story of Jesus’ first exorcism portrays the forces of evil in a way that may appear to readers today as strikingly personal. For Mark, as for the whole New Testament, evil is not an impersonal force but is concentrated in invisible, malevolent beings who are bent on destroying human beingss and hindering God’s plan of salvation. These evil spirits are responsible for various mental and even physical maladies (7:25; 9:17–27; see Matt 12:22; Luke 13:11). Some exegetes, noting that the Gospels do not always clearly distinguish between illness and demonic possession, have concluded that the references to demons are simply a mythical way of symbolizing the misfortunes to which human beings are prone. The Church has always taught, however, that demons are real spiritual beings, fallen angels who were created by God but became evil by their own free choice (Catechism, 391–95).

© 2008 Mary Healy and Baker Academic. Unauthorized use of this material without express written permission is strictly prohibited.