Tuesday of the Twenty-second Week in Ordinary Time, September 1
May God’s Spirit of Divine Truth Guide Each of Us in Our Life of Faith, As We Continue on Our Daily Pilgrimage to Know and Love God More Intimately and Serve His Will for Us More Faithfully.
“We have not received the spirit of the world but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may understand the things freely given us by God.”
Saint Paul is speaking to us in today’s First Reading about the Spirit of God who dwells within each one of us – the Holy Spirit who enlightens and sanctifies us, the Spirit who teaches and strengthens us with each step we take in our journey of faith here on this side of the eternal threshold.
As we look at the Jewish people of the Old Covenant and learn from all that they endured, Sacred Scripture teaches us that God’s Providential Love slowly guided them into a deeper understanding of Himself.
And in spite of their many failures, His Spirit was always guiding them into a more profound relationship with the God who loved them and always watched over them.
The faith which we live as Christians is not unlike that of our Jewish brethren, only on a different level. Ours is a faith enriched through the “good news” given to us by the Son of God Himself. Ours is a faith fed with the Word of God and nourished through the Holy Sacraments.
And ours is a faith which gives us hope, even in the midst of trials which we are sometimes called to endure – a faith which gives us comfort in our anxieties and consoles us in our fears.
After he was cleansed, one can only wonder at what filled the heart of the man who was possessed by an unclean spirit in today’s Gospel Reading. Scripture does not say how long he had been possessed, nor does it say what became of him afterwards, but what actually took place in that synagogue marveled all those who witnessed his exorcism!
Jesus spoke the Word of God as no one had spoken it before! When the rabbis taught, it was common for them to support their statements with quotes from the Scriptures. The prophets of the Old Covenant spoke with delegated authority, such as “Thus says the Lord.”
When Jesus spoke, however, He needed no other authority to back His words. He was Authority Incarnate – the Word of God made flesh! When He spoke, God spoke. When He commanded, even the demons obeyed!
The Gospel tells us today that those who were sitting in the synagogue at Capernaum were filled with amazement, “What is there about his word? For with authority and power he commands the unclean spirits, and they come out.” And it was the power of His Word which impelled the Apostles and Paul to spread the “good news” of this Jesus who is the Eternal Word and Eternal Wisdom Incarnate, and who came to live amongst us to teach us about the profound wonders of God’s unfathomable Love and limitless Mercy.
Paul tells us that each of us, as disciples of Jesus Christ who have received the Spirit of God within us, are enabled to “…understand the things freely given us by God.”
In this life of faith which we have been given as a free gift from God, and which we have freely chosen to embrace and live out in our daily lives by opening our hearts to His Truth, we also choose to be guided by all that the Spirit has instilled within us.
And we have chosen to close our hearts to all that separates us from God’s Love, to all which Satan, the prince of this world, tries to seduce and mislead us.
Sadly, for those who succumb to his seductions, they often find themselves as children of the night, surrendering to the darkness which overwhelms them. And Satan does not release his grip easily.
It is only through the power of God’s Merciful Love, and through the power of our sincere and humble prayer and selfless love, that Satan’s grip is released, and the person who was once engulfed in darkness is once again a child of the Eternal Light of God’s Loving Presence, as was the man in today’s Gospel.
Some time ago, I was once told by a friend that a certain person was seeking direction in her life, for she felt lost in a world which seemed to overwhelm her ability to cope with all that was going on in her life. And she began to look for answers and guidance in all the wrong places.
In trying to find her way, she began looking at the teachings of witchcraft, or what we would call Wicca, a belief system which supposedly traces its origins back to an ancient time where the people worshiped a hunter god and a fertility goddess. They neither recognize the Judeo-Christian concept of God nor do they recognize the existence of Satan.
Those who follow the Wiccan way of life do not believe in the inspired words of the Bible; rather, they believe in what they call a “mother earth”, and they view everything as good and positive, as long as no one is harmed.
I felt a great sadness that this young woman was looking for happiness down the wrong path, for this was all part of Satan’s plan in seducing the most vulnerable of God’s children, who find themselves struggling to cope with and make sense of life’s difficulties.
With the help of God’s grace, you and I share a faith together in which we not only know that God exists, but that He also loves us with a Love which is indescribable. And both history and Sacred Scripture have supported the fact that this Jesus of Nazareth, whom we worship and adore, once died upon a Cross. And, in faith, we embrace the fact that Jesus offered Himself as a sacrificial Victim for our sins, so that our fractured relationship with the Eternal Father may once and forever be restored.
And as Saint Paul tells us in his Letter to the Philippians, “He humbled himself, becoming obedient to death, even death on a cross. Because of this, God greatly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bend, of those in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”
This is the faith which we profess; this is the faith which you and I embrace, as God’s Spirit dwells within each one of us – embracing us and guiding us with His Love.
And the words of today’s psalmist remind us of the wonder of God’s Mercy, a Mercy which speaks of His Love for each of us as His spiritual children –
“The LORD is faithful in all his words and holy in all his works. The LORD lifts up all who are falling and raises up all who are bowed down.”
May God’s Spirit of Divine Truth – the Spirit of Eternal Light, the Spirit of Infinite Love – guide each of us in our life of faith as we continue on our daily pilgrimage to know and love God more intimately and to serve His will for us more faithfully –
– so that all that we think, all that we say and do may truly give Him the glory which rightfully belongs to Him, and Him alone. Amen. †
Please Comment, Like and Share, and Suggest to your Facebook friends – to spread the message of God’s Merciful Love.
Por favor Comente, Le Gusta y Comparta, y Sugiera a tus amigos en Facebook – en difundir el mensaje del Misericordioso Amor de Dios.
Scripture for the Day
- “We have not received the spirit of the world but the Spirit that is from God, so that we may understand the things freely given us by God.” (1 Corinthians 2:12)
- “The LORD is trustworthy in all his words, and loving in all his works. The LORD supports up all who are falling and raises up all who are bowed down.” (Psalm 145:13c-14)
- “In the synagogue there was a man with the spirit of an unclean demon, and he cried out in a loud voice, ‘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!’” (Luke 4:33-34)
- “Jesus rebuked him and said, ‘Be quiet! Come out of him!’ Then the demon threw the man down in front of them and came out of him without doing him any harm.” (Luke 4:35)
- “They were all amazed and said to one another, ‘What is there about his word? For with authority and power he commands the unclean spirits, and they come out.’” (Luke 4:36)
- “He humbled himself, becoming obedient to death, even death on a cross. Because of this, God greatly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bend, of those in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” (Philippians 2:8-11)
- “When you send forth your spirit, [all living things] are created, and you renew the face of the earth.” (Psalm 104:30)
- “I came into the world as light, so that everyone who believes in me might not remain in darkness.” (John 12:46)
- “And hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out into our hearts through the holy Spirit that has been given to us.” (Romans 5:5)
- “…the Spirit too comes to the aid of our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but the Spirit itself intercedes with inexpressible groanings. And the one who searches hearts knows what is the intention of the Spirit, because it intercedes for the holy ones according to God’s will.” (Romans 8:26-27)
- “The Advocate, the holy Spirit that the Father will send in my name – he will teach you everything and remind you of all that I told you.” (John 14:26)
Prayer for the Day
“O Divine Spirit, Spirit of Truth and of Light,
Dwell ever in my soul by Your Divine grace.
May Your breath dissipate the darkness,
And in this light may good deeds be multiplied.
“O Divine Spirit, Spirit of Love and of Mercy,
Who pour the balm of trust into my heart,
Your grace confirms my soul in good,
Giving it the invincible power of constancy.
“O Divine Spirit, Spirit of Peace and of Joy,
You invigorate my thirsting heart
And pour into it the living fountain of God’s Love,
Making it intrepid for battle.
“O Divine Spirit, my soul’s most welcome Guest,
For my part, I want to remain faithful to You;
Both in days of joy and in the agony of suffering,
I want always, O Spirit of God, to live in Your Presence.
“O Divine Spirit, who pervade my whole beingSaint Maria Faustina (Diary, 1411)
And give me to know Your Divine Triune Life,
And lead me into the mystery of Your Divine Being,
Initiating me into Your Divine Essence,
Thus, united to You, I will live a life without end.”