Skip to content

MONDAY HOMILY: Through Faith, We Acclaim Jesus as Lord

By Fr. Stephen B. Reynolds
1/28/2013 (5 years ago)
Catholic Online (

Who is this man who claims and exercises such wondrous power?  There are three possibilities: Jesus is either deranged, demonic, or divine.

style="margin: 0px; font: 14px Times New Roman; text-align: justify;">SUGAR LAND, TX (Catholic Online).  Those who heard Jesus teach found his words compelling because "he taught them as one who had authority, and not as the scribes" (Mark 1:22).  Even before Jesus performed a single miracle, the authenticity of his teaching made a deep impression on his hearers.  The Gospels contrast this with the pseudo-authority of the scribes.

The scribes were scholars of the Law, and dedicated themselves to copying-out the Word of God, preserving it for future generations.  Due to their intimate knowledge of the Old Testament, the scribes gradually acquired the role of interpreters of the Law as well.

When Jesus enters public view, the scribes opposed him on two fronts.  First, they disagreed with Jesus' interpretation of the Scriptures.  Second, they reacted negatively to the authority which people ascribed to him.  The Gospels give the impression that the scribes were motivated by jealously as much as by principle.  In any case, they accuse Jesus of acting in concert with Satan: "He is possessed by Beelzebul, and by the prince of demons he casts out demons" (Mark 3:22).

The scribes raise an important question.  What is the source of Jesus authority? Who is this man who claims and exercises such wondrous power?  There are three possibilities: Jesus is either deranged, demonic, or divine.

Perhaps Jesus is mad, or a fraud who uses sleight of hand and trickery to give the appearance of working miracles. Some of Jesus' childhood friends from Nazareth seem to think this.  "He is beside himself," they say (Mark 3:21).

If not a fraud, then perhaps Jesus is in league with the devil.  The scribes make this accusation because they cannot deny the reality of the miracles that Jesus performs, they being witnesses to many of these events.  Yet, the scribes were unwilling to ascribe divine power to Jesus, so they conclude that he must be the devil, or in league with him.

The third possibility is that divine power is at work in Jesus.  People called him a prophet.  They would later acclaim him as Son of God.

How does the Lord help us to navigate these competing identities?

Jesus response to the scribes is threefold.  First, he shows that his miracles are actually working against Satan rather than in his favor.  He thus cannot be in league with the devil.  

Second, Jesus compares Satan to a "strong man" who must be bound before his works can be undone.  Jesus is undoing the works of Satan, so he must be his master.  He is not crazy.

That leaves only one option: the power at work in Jesus is the power of God.

Finally, Jesus' criticizes the scribes' blasphemy, rooted in their critical spirit.  Because they were looking for an evil explanation for the good that Jesus did, they were blinded and fell into the "unforgiveable sin," attributing the work of God to Satan. 

"There are no limits to the mercy of God, but anyone who deliberately refuses to accept this mercy be repenting, rejects the forgiveness of his sins and the salvation offered by the Holy Spirit.  Such hardness of heart can lead to final impenitence and eternal loss" (Catechism of the Catholic Church, no. 1864).

If there is any judgment that we want to get right, it is the question of Jesus' identity.  The scribes are blind to this possibility, and the only option left to them is to call Jesus the devil.  We have the benefit of faith to illumine our minds and hearts.  Through faith, we can acclaim Jesus as Lord.  Let us never fail to do so in every circumstance of our lives.

Fr. Stephen B. Reynolds is pastor of St. Theresa Catholic Church in Sugar Land, TX, a suburb of Houston.  You may visit the parish website at:


'Help Give every Student and Teacher FREE resources for a world-class Moral Catholic Education'

Copyright 2018 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for APRIL 2018
For those who have Responsibility in Economic Matters.
That economists may have the courage to reject any economy of exclusion and know how to open new paths.


More Year of Faith

Let us Celebrate the Feast of All Saints. Let us Make Haste to our Brethren Watch

Image of

Calling the saints to mind inspires, or rather arouses in us, above all else, a longing to enjoy their company, so desirable in itself. We ... continue reading

The Feast of the Sacred Heart and Our Mission Watch

Image of Saint Margaret Mary of Alocoque encountering the Sacred Heart of Jesus

The heart is the center of a person, the place from which he/she makes the choices which will affect the world within them and around them. ... continue reading

The Happy Priest on the Baptism of the Lord and our own Baptism Watch

Image of

The consideration of Jesus' baptism, gives us an opportunity to remember our own baptism.  If you do not know the date of your own ... continue reading

Regret of Judas or Repentance of Peter?

Image of

I gave my back to those who beat me, my cheeks to those who plucked my beard; My face I did not shield from buffets and spitting. HYTHE, ... continue reading

Pentecost: St Cyril of Jerusalem on The Living Water of the Holy Spirit Watch

Image of

The Spirit makes one man a teacher of divine truth, inspires another to prophesy, gives another the power of casting out devils, enables ... continue reading

Never Miss any Updates!

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers.

Learn about Catholic world

Catholic Online
Inform - Inspire - Ignite

Catholic Online Saints
Your saints explained

Catholic Online Prayers
Prayers for every need

Catholic Online Bible
Complete bible online

Catholic Online News
Your news Catholic eye

Daily Reading
Today's bible reading

Lent / Easter
Death & resurrection of Jesus

Advent / Christmas
Birth of Jesus

Rest of Catholic Online
All Catholic world we offer

Products and services we offer

Catholic Online Shopping
Catholic medals, gifts & books

The California Network
Inspiring streaming service

Advertise on Catholic Online
Your ads on

Catholic Online Email
Email with Catholic feel

Catholic Online Singles
Safe, secure Catholic dating

The California Studios
World-class post production service

Learn the Catholic way

Catholic Online School
Free Catholic education for all

Student Classes
K-12 & Adult Education Classes

School Teachers
Teacher lesson plans & resources

Support Free Education
Tax deductible support Free education

Connect with us online

Catholic Online on Facebook
Catholic social network

Catholic Online on Twitter
Catholic Tweets

Catholic Online on YouTube
Enjoy our videos

Catholic Online on Instagram
Shared Catholic moments

Catholic Online on Pinterest
Catholic ideas style inspiration

Catholic Online Logo

Copyright 2018 Catholic Online. All materials contained on this site, whether written, audible or visual are the exclusive property of Catholic Online and are protected under U.S. and International copyright laws, © Copyright 2018 Catholic Online. Any unauthorized use, without prior written consent of Catholic Online is strictly forbidden and prohibited.