Tuesday of the First Week in Ordinary Time
I Samuel 1:9-20
I would guess if a man came into the church right now screaming and yelling he would get the attention of all of us?
Ironically, this is not what happens in our Gospel as a man with an unclean spirit comes into the temple where Jesus has been teaching and preaching, and he screams and yells, and no one seems to react to him. We are told that the people were all amazed, but could it be that they were all amazed because the man spoke for all of them because they were scared, and feeling isolated?
The man with the unclean spirit says, “What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth?” The man’s words portray the distance that he felt separated and isolated from Jesus. Jesus simply says, “Quiet, come out of him.” Jesus is saying, “I have everything to do with you.”
The man with the unclean spirit not only speaks for the people in the temple but maybe for us also. Maybe we are feeling grief, brokenness, and isolation?
Yesterday, as I was eating my breakfast, I watched the neighbor lady, shoveling her driveway trying desperately to remove the heavy wet snow and the layers of ice. I have this scraper that I bought years ago that works perfectly for scraping off the ice that is thick because our car has run over it multiple times. I was in my sweatpants and ratty old shirt, and I had not showered yet. I sat there and contemplated if I should put my shoes on and give her my scraper which would help her. I kept thinking, “She knows I am a priest, and I look so awful?” Finally, I just bolted for the door, put my shoes on grabbed the scrapper and ran over and gave it to her. I showed her how easy this scraper removed the heavy ice. She thanked me profusely as she said, “I have been struggling to try to get all this snow off my driveway.”
As we gather today, we need to hear the voice of God say to us, “Shhh. Be quiet. You are mine, and you mean everything to me.” Let’s now in this Eucharist close the gap between Jesus and us.