Our Gospel is a selection from Mark, and it helps in reading it to realize that Mark had a simple plan for his Gospel.
He seems to have written to assure people that Our Lord’s having been executed as a criminal should not prevent us from seeing him as the Promised Messiah. His Gospel, which is seventeen chapters long neatly breaks into two parts. All the stories in the first eight and a half chapters are ones that brought the disciples to see that Jesus is the Savior. Mark concludes that first half of his Gospel midway through Chapter Eight when Peter, speaking for the rest, says, “You are the Messiah.”
With the very next verse Mark slipped into the second half of his Gospel, with Jesus saying, Yes, he is the Savior, but the very suffering that people object to, instead of being an obstacle, will be his instrument for saving us.
But, let’s not get ahead of ourselves, our Gospel today is from Chapter One of Mark where he begins piling up all the evidence the disciples, and us as well, need for convincing us that he is the Messiah. In the synagogue he had taught with heavenly authority. With a simple word he had driven out devils who confessed him to be the Holy one of God. He went on to the cure Simon’s mother-in-law. Then with a simple word each, he cured those suffering from a whole catalogue of aliments.