The Gospel from St. Mark 1:21-28 makes it clear that, from the very first day of Christ’s public ministry, his messianic power began to be manifested to those who saw and heard him. The Jews of Capernaum were “astonished” at his teaching and “amazed” at his power over the evil spirits. “What is this,” they asked one another, “a new teaching and the unclean spirits obey him!” But they were still a long way from recognizing Him for what He was, the Messiah and Son of God. This is as might be expected, the astounding mystery of the incarnation was way beyond human expectation or human imagination. And it was our Lord’s own plan to reveal this mystery, slowly and gradually, so that when the chain of evidence had been completed by his resurrection, his followers could look back and see each link in that chain. Then they would be ready to accept without hesitation the mystery of the incarnation and realize the infinite love and power of God that brought it about. We look back today through the eyes of the Evangelists, and, like them, know that Christ was God as well as man—two natures in one person. We should not therefore be “amazed” at the teaching of Jesus or at His power over the unclean spirits. What should amaze us really is the love that God showed mankind in becoming one of our race.
We are creatures with nothing of our own to boast of. We were created by God, and every talent or power we possess was given us by God. When we recall the special gifts He gave man, which raise Him above all other created things, we see that He could not, because of His own infinitely benevolent nature, leave us to an earthly fate. God created us to elevate us, after our earthly sojourn, to an eternal existence where all our desires and potentialities would have their true fulfillment.
Today, while amazed at God’s love for us, let us also be justly amazed at the shabby and grudging return we make for love. Many amongst us even deny that act of God’s infinite love, not from convincing historical and logical proofs, but to justify their own unwillingness to co-operate with the divine plan for their eternal future.
While we sincerely hope that we are not in that class, we can still find many facets in our daily Christian lives which can and should make us amazed at our lack of gratitude to God and to his incarnate Son. “Thank you, God, for putting me in this world, and thank you a thousand times more, for giving me the opportunity and the means of reaching the next world where I shall live happily for evermore in your presence”.