“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!”
The unclean spirit of Sunday’s Gospel passage speaks truth. He knows enough of Jesus’ power to be afraid of Him, yet not enough to serve Him. Jesus drives out the spirit with authority.
Is this how we treat Jesus? Do we recognize His authority, but refuse to let it apply to us? We might be guilty of treating Jesus as just another prophet, or just another teacher. Jesus is not only these things but also our God! We should let Him speak to us as Prophet, we should listen to and absorb His words as Teacher, but we should first and foremost obey Him as God!
St. Theresa of Avila had a great little saying about prayer, specifically for times when we feel we are not praying well, but it applies well to this reflection. She says: “When praying we must remember first and foremost the dignity of Him Whom we address.” In other words, remember first that God is God, infinite in majesty and worthy of all our love and obedience. Then we will have the right perspective for all our actions.
A little fear of the Lord does us good. It keeps us mindful of God’s great dignity and our need for His guidance in all things. We should seek the approval of God and no other. We should seek to please God before all others. We should recognize God’s dignity and authority over all things, including us.