Aleteia logoAleteia logoAleteia
Tuesday 07 February |
Saint of the Day: Bl. Eugénie Smet
Aleteia logo
Spirituality
separateurCreated with Sketch.

When Satan tells the truth

Devil Satan red black hooded man

Raland | Shutterstock

Fr. Luigi Maria Epicoco - published on 01/10/23

Faith should never be solely proclaimed, but also lived.

Send us the names of your loved ones who are sick or suffering. The Aleteia prayer network of 550 monasteries will take them to prayer for the World Day of the Sick.

Click here to share your intentions

Today’s readings can be found here. Read Fr. Epicoco’s brief reflections on the daily Mass readings, Monday through Saturday, here. For Sunday Mass reading commentary from Fr. Rytel-Andrianik, see here.

Finding people teaching in the synagogue, especially on the Sabbath, was not an oddity in Jesus’ day. But when it is Jesus who does it, then the Gospel underlines something special:

“They were astounded at his teaching, for he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.”

This is the great difference between authoritativeness and authoritarianism. The latter works only by instilling fear. Authoritativeness, on the other hand, inspires an attraction that, in turn, instills respect out of beauty, truth, reliability – certainly not out of fear. 

Even within the Church we can base our relationships and bonds on fear and power – the power that others might have over our lives. But whenever we do this, we are working against the logic of the Gospel – a logic that is driven by authoritativeness instead, by a life lived according to the truth. 

Evil hates authoritative people because they don’t follow the world’s logic. It is no coincidence that immediately after underlining the quality of Jesus’ preaching, Mark adds the reaction of a possessed person:

“Just then there was in their synagogue a man with an unclean spirit, and he cried out, ‘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.’ But Jesus rebuked him, saying, ‘Be silent, and come out of him!’ And the unclean spirit, throwing him into convulsions and crying with a loud voice, came out of him.” 

Paradoxically, the devil spoke the truth: Jesus is truly the Holy One of God. But the truth the devil spoke, even if orthodox, is not edifying. Jesus rebukes and silences him because faith should never be solely proclaimed, but also lived. Saying the right things but living the opposite is typical of the devil. This should make us think. A lot.

~

Father Luigi Maria Epicoco is a priest of the Aquila Diocese and teaches Philosophy at the Pontifical Lateran University and at the ISSR ‘Fides et ratio,’ Aquila. He dedicates himself to preaching, especially for the formation of laity and religious, giving conferences, retreats and days of recollection. He has authored numerous books and articles. Since 2021, he has served as the Ecclesiastical Assistant in the Vatican Dicastery for Communication and columnist for the Vatican’s daily newspaper L’Osservatore Romano.

Tags:
DiscipleshipGospelLiturgyMassPrayerSpiritual Life
Support Aleteia!

Enjoying your time on Aleteia?

Articles like these are sponsored free for every Catholic through the support of generous readers just like you.

Thanks to their partnership in our mission, we reach more than 20 million unique users per month!

Help us continue to bring the Gospel to people everywhere through uplifting and transformative Catholic news, stories, spirituality, and more.

Support Aleteia with a gift today!

jour1_V2.gif
Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...




Entrust your prayer intentions to our network of monasteries


Top 10
See More
Newsletter
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.