Monday, 24 February 2020 : 7th Week of Ordinary Time (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today as we listened the words of the Sacred Scriptures each one of us are reminded of the faith and trust that we need to have in God, and as Christians, we must indeed be filled with faith, with obedience and humility before God. Otherwise, we will be easy prey for the devil and all of his wicked allies, the demons and evil spirits ever roaming around seeking our downfall and destruction.

Unless our relationship with God is strong, we will fall easily to the temptations and coercions of these wicked spirits. This is what we have ourselves heard in our Gospel passage today, as the Lord cast down evil spirits from a possessed boy whom His disciples had not been able to handle. The disciples brought the man to Jesus and the Lord cast out the demon from the boy almost immediately. He rebuked His own disciples for their lack of faith, and said if they really just had a little bit of true faith, they would be able to heal the boy.

And the father of the boy himself was stuttering in his faith, as when the Lord asked him, he responded with some ambivalence, that while he had faith in Jesus, yet there was also doubt in his heart that Jesus would be able to do something to help his boy from his demonic possession trouble. Though in the end, he made a firmer profession of the faith, that he did believe in Jesus and asked Him to help him in whatever little faith he had.

Essentially, what this means is that we have to have that faith in us, believing that no matter what, first of all, we always have God by our side. If only that we put our complete trust in Him and allow Him to be in our hearts and in our whole being, and being attuned to Him, we have no need to fear of anything, especially against the forces of evil. For as we have heard in the Gospel today, even the powerful and fearsome evil spirits had to obey the Lord, Who is their Master and Creator after all.

The devil and all the forces of evil know this very well, and that is exactly why they are always busy at work trying to persuade us and to tempt us to follow the path of sin, and to be distracted from our attention towards God. They sow the seeds of doubt and unfaithfulness inside our hearts, by playing into our pride, ego, desires and fears, and in doing so, they hope to drive a wedge between God and us. And this is why, the Lord mentioned in the end of our Gospel passage today, after He cast out the demons, that only prayer can drive out this one, nothing else.

For through prayer and indeed having a healthy and good prayer life is a necessity for us to have a good relationship with God. And that is how we anchor ourselves firmly in God and put ourselves firmly in His powerful embrace and protection. If we have this kind of faith, not only that we will be protected and can stand strong against the devil and his wicked demonic forces, no matter how powerful they may seem to be, but we can even help others who are troubled by these spirits, through prayer and other means.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, today all of us as Christians, we are all called to reexamine our lives and our faith. Have we been living our lives thus far with real faith or have we been living our lives with just a superficial faith and seeking instead the glory of the world and its many satisfaction? We should think carefully about it, and ask ourselves if all these distractions have indeed prevented us from having a strong trust and faith in God.

Let us all heed what the Apostle St. James wrote in his Epistle in our first reading today, as he exhorted us the faithful to put our trust not in the ways and wisdom of the world but instead in the wisdom of God. He also warned us all against all sorts of jealousy, ambition, pride and desire, exactly what I have just mentioned earlier, as these are the tools and means by which the devil and his allies used frequently to drive a wedge separating us from God, and distracting us from His love and grace.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, are we able to live a more Christian way of living from this moment onwards if we have not done so? Are we able to commit ourselves to the Lord with ever greater reverence and commitment? Let us bring ourselves closer to God through prayer and through our lives, made ever more dedicated with each and every passing moments. Let us deepen our relationship with God, that He may truly become our strength and our shield that we have nothing to fear even from the evil one, for God is by our side, always.

May the Lord bless us all and may He strengthen us in our resolve to live courageously in accordance with His will, that we may resist the many temptations present in this world and live our lives as true Christians and good followers of Our God. Amen.

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