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Are you amazed?

In today's gospel, Jesus comes to Capernaum with his followers and teaches in the synagogue. The people were astonished by his teaching. He spoke with great authority. Everyone there was even more amazed when he relieved a man of his unclean spirits. Jesus made a lasting impression on people, gaining great credibility around the whole region of Galilee.

This made me think of the Browns this season and Baker Mayfield. He has gained credibility. In prior seasons it has been difficult for him to overcome the image of the prima donna Heisman Trophy winner. But this season he has gained great credibility and played with authority, especially because of a greater will to win. He has amazed fellow players, coaches and fans. He has rid himself of the “unclean spirits” of making bad choices and turning the ball over.

As we read this gospel and others, can we be amazed by the works and words of Jesus just as much as we are with Baker’s quarterbacking skills? Believe it or not, Browns fans, when we get to know Jesus in the gospels, we cannot only be astonished, we can be transformed. Most of us will probably never have a personal relationship with Baker. But we do have an opportunity to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ through prayer.

We can be transformed by the accounts in the gospels of Jesus’ many healings, his great forgiveness, and his courage to eat with and spend time with the poor and the marginalized. We should try to imagine ourselves in the gospel accounts of Jesus calling his disciples and us to be by his side in establishing his kingdom.

We have in our world many unclean spirits. There are the unclean sprits of war, hatred and violence. There are the unclean spirits of unending divisive politics, domestic and foreign terrorists and countless offences against human life. May we call on Christ for peace.

We have been amazed by Baker and the Browns this season. We hope that it can continue. But more importantly, may 2021 be a year of peace and healing, and may we come to a greater personal relationship with Christ. That would really be amazing!

-Deacon Carl Toomey