Tuesday, September 02, 2014
22nd Week in Ordinary Time
1st Reading: 1 Cor 2:10-16
Gospel: Luke 4:31-37
Jesus went down to Capernaum, a town of Galilee, and began teaching the people at the Sabbath meetings. They were astonished at the way he taught them, for his word was spoken with authority.
In the synagogue there was a man possessed by an evil spirit who shouted in a loud voice, “What do you want with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I recognize you: you are the Holy One of God.” Then Jesus said to him sharply, “Be silent and leave this man!” The evil spirit then threw the man down in front of them and came out of him without doing him harm.
Amazement seized all these people and they said to one another, “What does this mean? He commands the evil spirits with authority and power. He orders, and you see how they come out!” And news about Jesus spread throughout the surrounding area.
(Daily Gospel in the Assimilated Life Experience)
Those who are not familiar with the language of our civil law will be taken aback if I declare that I have the power to make fishes, pigeons and bees immovable. The law gives any landowner this power by putting up permanently an animal house, a pigeon house, beehive, fishpond or breeding places of similar nature with the intention to have them permanently attached to the land and forming permanent parts of it. The law says that these will also be considered immovable including the animals in these places. But this is only legal jargon. Only God can exercise unlimited powers over any created being.
Today’s Gospel reading illustrates this power. At Jesus’ command evil spirits came out of the man they had possessed for some time. This is baffling. Aren’t devils disobedient by nature? By orchestrating a rebellion against God, Satan lent his name to all disobedient creatures alive. “Devil” and “obedience to God” are miles apart in meaning. How do we interpret then the devil’s submission to Jesus’ order to come out of the possessed man?
The Gospel reading is not about obedient devils but about the power of good over evil. The devils had no choice but dispossess the man because someone more powerful ordered them to do so. There is no merit in their submission to Jesus’ command. They were simply overpowered. This Gospel passage is one of the best illustrations of the power of good over evil.
Those who do the work of God experience this tremendous power of good over evil. Whenever a person does God’s will, he assumes moral power that not even devils can resist. We call this the power of moral persuasion. Such power reaches fullness when a person, acting as agent of God’s will, live morally. His very life constitutes a standing order to others to stop doing evil, an order that can render even devils immovable. – Rev. Fr. Dan Domingo P. delos Angeles, Jr., DM. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Website:www.frdan.org.
Prayer for the day: God our Father, help us live morally so that our own life may serve as standing order to others to do your Holy Will. Grant this through Christ our Lord. Amen.
SAINT OF THE DAY: John Du Lau and the September Martyrs. John Du Lao was the Archbishop of Arles, France. He and his companions died martyrs during the French Revolution. The new constitution of 1790 was against the Church and people were forced to take their oath otherwise they would die. September 2, 1792 was the start of revolution. The rioters went to Carmelite church where John and other bishops, priests, religious and lay people were held in prison. All refused to take the oath because they knew they would be betraying God. They were murdered on the spot. By the time the Revolution ended, 1,500 Catholics had been killed. The martyrs we celebrate today number 191. Pope Pius XI proclaimed them “Blessed” in 1926.