Daily Reflection for Tuesday, August 30, 2022
Peace and Blessings, Friends and Parishioners!
We encourage you to reflect on Tuesday’s readings at this link:
If you prefer to use your own Bible, the readings are:
First Reading: 1 Corinthians 2:10B-16
Responsorial: Psalm 145:8-9,10-11,12-13AB,13CD-14
Gospel: Luke 4:31-37
Our reflection on Tuesday’s readings:
I know who you are – the Holy One of God! Luke 4:34
I have never enjoyed scary supernatural stories. I have memories of sitting around a campfire at sleep-away camp, listening to ghost stories and then not being able to sleep that night. In high school I joined in watching horror movies, because that’s what everyone was doing, and once again, lost nights of sleep imagining an evil killer jumping out of my closet or dolls coming to life and chasing me around the bedroom. To this day, I avoid any books, movies or television stories that revolve around hauntings, possessions, demons, or other evil supernatural forces. I really value a good night’s sleep.
The synoptic gospels contain at least a half dozen specific stories of Jesus dispatching demons or unclean spirits and then multiple general references to him performing this type of healing as he traveled around Judea over the course of his ministry. In biblical times, it was a generally held belief that demons and evil spirits existed and could cause all kinds of problems for the people they possessed, including physical, mental and emotional maladies. In the Roman society, there were professional exorcists who made a living expelling demons and unclean spirits.
I’ve never seen a ghost or known someone to be possessed by a demon. I do however know that there is evil in the world and that people are capable of deliberately doing terrible things to each other. I don’t understand this evil as a “possession” but as a choice that a person makes to cause harm to others, to themselves, or to God’s creation. This sin is not something external to ourselves, but a darkness that we allow to take hold of our heart.
In today’s gospel, while the people in Capernaum were amazed by Jesus and wondering how he was speaking with such authority, the unclean spirit recognized Jesus right away. The demon immediately knew that it was no match for Jesus, the Holy One of God. I love that Jesus first tells the demon to “Be quiet!”, and then expels it.
We know that Jesus has the power to quiet and expel our own “evil spirits”. Through the Holy Spirit, He sends us the grace to resist the worst of our human tendencies and allow “the better angels of our nature” to prevail [from Abraham Lincoln’s first inaugural address]. Let us all pray for that powerful grace to choose good over evil each and every day.
Peace and love,