|Fr. J.P. Shea|
We heard in last week’s Gospel that our Lord began his ministry. He came proclaiming the Good News, saying, "The Kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the Gospel.” (Mark 1:15) Our Lord then chose His 12 disciples whom He would use to proclaim His message of salvation.
Today’s Gospel is the very next scene after last week’s reading. While last week’s gospel emphasized the proclamation of the kingdom of heaven, today’s passage emphasizes the initiation of Our Lord’s kingdom.
My brothers and sisters, today’s reading reminds us that the kingdom of God has come upon us and it has come through the power and authority of Our Lord Jesus Christ!
Ever since the fall of humanity, our world has been under the influence of the evil one, and today’s Gospel reminds us that our Lord has come to break this power.
Each one of us has been baptized. Yet, our baptism does not free us from the influences of the evil spirits that surround us. Baptism gives us grace to be children of God, but we must accept this grace. We must continually make an effort to live out our baptismal call by renouncing sin. We must continually call upon the power of our Lord Jesus Christ, Who is the Holy One of God!
If we allow these spirits into our lives they can easily take hold of our will. One example I will give is unclean spirits associated with pornography. When we view pornography we invite dirty spirits into our lives, and it becomes difficult to get rid of them. These filthy images and their spirits come back. They haunt us. They tempt us! And they easily take control of our souls if we do not continually and frequently call upon the name of Our Lord Jesus.
As Our Lord rebukes the evil spirit in today’s Gospel, we too need to rebuke the evil spirits that roam our society and world! To the evils of our culture we need to say, “Get behind me satan!”
We need to strive to keep our love pure and holy because evil spirits can ruin the lives of any soul that is lukewarm. Our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, and we need to treat them as such. If we darken our bodies on earth through immorality, how can we expect to have a holy and glorified body in heaven?
We must persevere in prayer, go to frequent confession, and receive Our Lord in the Eucharist. These are gifts that Our Lord has given to our Church to fight against evil until Our Lord comes again!
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