I will use one of my talents to help somebody today.
Jesus then went
down to Capernaum, a town of Galilee. He taught them on the sabbath, and they were astonished at his
teaching because he spoke with authority. In the synagogue there was a man with the spirit of an
unclean demon, and he cried out in a loud voice, "Ha! What have you to do with us, Jesus of
Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are -- the Holy One of God!" Jesus rebuked him
and said, "Be quiet! Come out of him!" Then the demon threw the man down in front of them and came
out of him without doing him any harm. They were all amazed and said to one another, "What is there
about his word? For with authority and power he commands the unclean spirits, and they come out."
And news of him spread everywhere in the surrounding region.Introductory Prayer:
Lord, you have looked with favor on me. You have seen in my
soul fertile ground, and you have sown your word in hope of an abundant harvest. I hope never to let
you down by not responding in faith. I allow you to lead me to the fullness of my vocation as your
Christ, may zeal for your
friendship consume me so much that I remove all sin from my life.1. Great Hopes
: Jesus had great plans for Capernaum –– a big city,
situated by the lake on the “way of the sea,” a thoroughfare open to travelers. It was an ideal hub
from which to spread the Gospel. Would anyone from such a big town have interest in his message?
Christ made his home there. He exercised the greater part of his public ministry in Capernaum and
graced it with more than one-third of his miracles. It was quite different from Nazareth. Christ
asks us to find our Capernaum –– seeking that niche, using those talents, evangelizing that audience
— where we can become the most effective apostles for him. This may demand a greater love from us,
but we can see how Christ blesses this effort with his presence, teaching and healing.2. Simple Faith
: Christ chooses to cure a man
on the Sabbath in Capernaum and nobody raises an eyebrow! How different this is from Jerusalem!
These people here have a simple faith, unconcerned about the legalities of ritualistic orthodoxy.
“Here I can preach. Here I can heal. Here I can work!” Christ feels at home and welcomed. Here
Christ finds vocations: Peter, Andrew, James, John, Matthew. Here Christ finds faith even among the
pagans: the centurion who asks for a cure. One can sense a special predilection of Christ toward
this city. From those who have been given more, more will be expected.3. Generosity Pushed to Its Limits:
soul responds in generosity, Christ opportunely draws it to the fullness of its vocation. Encouraged
by Capernaum’s faith, Christ asks more of it; just as he asked of the rich young man. As we see
later in the Gospel, what better place than faith-filled Capernaum for Christ to reveal to the world
one of his most difficult teachings: presenting himself as the Living Bread come down from heaven?
In the end, the majority leave him. “Will you go away too?” The present-day ruins of Capernaum
testify to the truth of Christ’s warning: “As for you, Capernaum, ‘Are you to be exalted to the
skies? You shall go down to the realm of death!’ If the miracles worked in you had taken place in
Sodom, it would be standing today. I assure you, it will go easier for Sodom than for you on the Day
of Judgment” (Matthew 11:23-4).Conversation with Christ:
Lord, you know me and you know everything about me. Let me
not become blinded by the arrogance of my own opinions and ideas. Help me to keep you always before
me as the goal of my life, the pearl of great price, for which I joyfully sell all I own to
I will use one of my talents to help somebody