Tuesday of the Twenty-second Week in Ordinary Time, August 31
It Is Only in the “House of the Lord” in Which We Shall Realize the Fulfillment of All That God Has Promised, for We Shall Live With Him and in His Love Forever.
“For all of you are children of the light and children of the day. We are not of the night or of darkness.”
We find in today’s First Reading words from Saint Paul about vigilance and preparedness – about truly living our daily lives as spiritual children of the Eternal Light Himself, and not subjecting ourselves to a life’s journey which could ultimately end in eternal darkness for the soul.
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 liberated them from a life of slavery under cruel taskmasters, and delivered them to a new life in the Promised Land.
The faith which we live as Christians today is no different, only on a different level. We see our faith as deliverance from the slavery of sin and a new life in Jesus Christ. We see our faith as freedom from a life of darkness to a new life lived in the Eternal Light of God’s Truth and Divine Love.
We can say the same for 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 the exorcism of the demon which possessed him.
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 Love and Mercy.
Paul teaches that each of us, as disciples of Jesus Christ, “…are children of the light…” for we have freely chosen to open our hearts to His Truth, and we have chosen to freely embrace all that our Church teaches us, so that we may not be misled by the lies and half-truths with which the prince of this world, Satan, tries to seduce 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 grasp easily.
It is only through the power of God’s Merciful Love, and through the power of our sincere prayer, selfless love and a truly contrite heart 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 our Heavenly and 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 “children of the light.”
Saint Paul reminds us today to remain “alert and sober”, so that, together, we may proclaim with one heart, one mind and one voice the words of today’s psalmist, “One thing I ask of the LORD; this I seek: To dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life…”
For it is the “house of the LORD” in which each of us shall realize the fulfillment of all that God has promised us, for it is there where we shall live with Him and in His Love forever! †
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
- “For all of you are children of the light and children of the day. We are not of the night or of darkness.” (1 Thessalonians 5:5)
- “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)
- “…but let us stay alert and sober…For God did not destine us for wrath, but to gain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, so that whether we are awake or asleep we may live together with him.” (1 Thessalonians 5:6b, 9-10)
- “What eye has not seen, and ear has not heard, and what has not entered the human heart, what God has prepared for those who love him.” (1 Corinthians 2:9b)
- “Better one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere. Better the threshold of the house of my God than a home in the tents of the wicked.” (Psalm 84:11)
- “One thing I ask of the LORD; this I seek: To dwell in the LORD’s house all the days of my life, To gaze on the LORD’s beauty, to visit his temple.” (Psalm 27:4)
- “The victor will inherit these gifts, and I shall be his God, and he will be my son.” (Revelation 21:7)
- “Come, you who are blessed by my Father. Inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.” (Matthew 25:34bc)
Prayer for the Day
“Heavenly and Eternal Father,Anonymous
help me to live my life as it pleases Your Divine will.
Assist me to recognize You in all whom I meet,
and to live the virtues which our holy faith espouses.
“But many are the seductions and lies which assault me;
many are the temptations which weaken my resolve;
for the prince of this world disguises himself as an angel of light,
entrapping many who fall victim to his wiles and deceptions.
“It is Satan who spreads seeds of disruption,
stealing souls who rightfully belong to You.
Give me Your Holy Spirit to enlighten and strengthen me,
keeping me safe from all that would destroy my soul.
“It is You, Almighty God, whom I desire in life and for eternity;
it is Your Love with which I wish to be forever embraced.
I pray, save me from the snares of the evil one,
and I shall be found praising the wonders of Your Glory forever. Amen.”