Monday, October 27, 2014
30th Week in Ordinary Time
1st Reading: Eph 4:32–5:8
Gospel: Luke 13:10-17
Jesus was teaching in a synagogue on the Sabbath and a crippled woman was there. An evil spirit had kept her bent for eighteen years so that she could not straighten up at all. On seeing her, Jesus called her and said, “Woman, you are freed from your infirmity.” Then he laid his hands upon her and immediately she was made straight and praised God.
But the ruler of the synagogue was indignant because Jesus had performed this healing on the Sabbath day and he said to the people, “There are six days in which to work; come on those days to be healed and not on the Sabbath.”
But the Lord replied, “You hypocrites! Everyone of you unties his ox or his donkey on the Sabbath and leads it out of the barn to give it water. And here you have a daughter of Abraham whom Satan had bound for eighteen years. Should she not be freed from her bonds on the Sabbath?”
(Daily Gospel in the Assimilated Life Experience)
Andy Serkis the British actor who plays the bulging-eyed schizophrenic cave dweller Gollum in the Lord of the Rings trilogy said that he studied his cats to develop his character’s sinister throaty voice. The success of the Gollum character is in its ability to project in the physical the moral condition of being addict and desperate. Gollum did this by being bent in posture and crawling all the time. The throaty voice also reinforced the character. In an interview Serkis said: “I used to drink a lot of Gollum juice which was honey and lemon and ginger and fruit teas. I had a lot of lower back injuries because of the decision to make him crawl because he is an addict and I wanted to reflect that sense of desperation”.
The making of the Gollum reflected the dynamics of the human manifestation of an internal moral condition. The same dynamics was operative in the woman described in today’s Gospel as “kept bent for 18 years by an evil spirit”. Her bent stature and her spiritual slavery may be a symbolic reference to the power of Satan to alienate a person from the community. Probably because of such alienation she learned to stoop down to avoid the questioning eyes of the community.
Satan means one who gets in the way – a stumbling block. Recall how Jesus used “Satan” in this sense when he remonstrated Peter saying, “Get behind me, Satan.” That was when Peter began to dissuade him from his Passion. The devil deserves this name because his role is just that: to stand in the way of people who are supposed to tread the path to righteousness. Serkis was successful in becoming the Gollum movie lovers well remember because he began creating this movie character from the deepest recesses of his consciousness. If we let Satan into our souls, would he be less creative than Serkis? – 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, grant us the grace of perseverance so that we may not succumb to the devil’s manipulations. Grant this through Christ our Lord. Amen.
SAINT OF THE DAY: ST. FRUMENTIUS, the Apostle of Ethiopia. He and his brother St. Aedesius were the only survivors among the voyagers of the ship that landed at Ethiopia. They were taken to the king and became members of his court. They introduced Christianity to the country and paved the way to the opening of trade with the West. As bishop, St. Frumentius worked hard and converted many including the king’s sons.