He went down to Capernaum, a city in Galilee, and was teaching them on the sabbath. They were astounded at his teaching, because he spoke with authority. In the synagogue there was a man who had the spirit of an unclean demon, and he cried out with a loud voice, “Let us alone! 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!” When the demon had thrown him down before them, he came out of him without having done him any harm. They were all amazed and kept saying to one another, “What kind of utterance is this? For with authority and power he commands the unclean spirits, and out they come!” And a report about him began to reach every place in the region.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved. http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translations
As a student of theology in Brazil, I marvel at how good my classmates, Brazilians, are in speaking Portuguese. This may sound strange, but as a student whose primary language is not Portuguese, I am in awe of the fluidity and complicated grammatical structure in which my peers articulate their ideas. To them Portuguese is easy, whereas I can only imagine the years of struggle to attain that ability. For me, the “naturalness” of my peers´ language is anything but.
I think of this quotidian experience of mine because I imagine it touches something of what Jesus´s peers felt when they heard him speak. I suppose they found in him a person whose words were “authoritative” because they were so natural. It might have seemed to them that he didn´t have to work hard to express himself. We might ask Jesus for this grace to express ourselves naturally, effortlessly, as he did with others.
—Christopher Staab, S.J. is a Jesuit scholastic of the Chicago-Detroit province. He is currently in his second year of theology studies at the Jesuit house of studies in Belo Horizonte, Brazil. Chris previously taught at Cristo Rey Jesuit High School, Chicago IL.
O Spirit of God, we ask you to help orient
all our actions by your inspirations,
carry them on by your gracious assistance,
that every prayer and work of ours
may always begin from you
and through you be happily ended.
—A Prayer for Spiritual Freedom
(Excerpt from Hearts on Fire: Praying with Jesuit)Please share the Good Word with your friends!