Tuesday, 30 August 2022 : 22nd Week of Ordinary Time (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today as we listened to the words of the Lord, we are reminded to open ourselves to know the Lord, our Saviour and King, not just superficially but also wholeheartedly in a genuine desire to know Him and to love Him with all of our might. Each and every one of us ought to trust in God’s Wisdom and allow His truth to guide us. We must not let the temptations of worldly glory and other temptations of this world from misleading us down the wrong path, or making us to move further and further away from God and His truth.

In our first reading today, taken from the Epistle of St. Paul to the Church and the faithful in the city of Corinth, we heard of the need for all the faithful to embrace the Spirit of God that has been given to them, and to attune themselves to the Spirit, that they may appreciate and understand the truth of God, and not to see things through the spirit and understanding of the world. That is because the ways of the Lord are different from the ways of the world, and unless we see things from the Lord’s perspective, and through His Spirit, then we cannot truly understand the Lord, His ways and His truth.

Then in our Gospel passage today we heard of the moment when the Lord Jesus cast out evil spirits from a man in Capernaum when that possessed man came to Him and began speaking up and revealing the truth about the Lord Himself, how Jesus was truly the Holy One of God, the Son of God and the Messiah or Saviour of the world. The significance of this moment is that when the people of Capernaum failed to recognise the truth spoken by the evil spirits, and especially when the Pharisees and the teachers of the Law often criticised and harassed Him, refusing to listen to Him or to believe in His words, it was ironically the evil spirits who spoke the truth.

Why is that so, brothers and sisters in Christ? First of all, the evil spirits were truly once spirits in the service of God, Angels and other spiritual beings who fell into disobedience and sin, following Satan, the Fallen Angel, who fell into sin because of his prideful rebellion against God. But, although those evil spirits had disobeyed and rebelled against God, they were still nonetheless subject to Him and they could not but speak the truth regarding Him before others. Hence, what the evil spirits spoke through the man was indeed the truth. What the evil spirits however wanted to do by that action, is to sow confusion and make it difficult for the Lord to perform His mission by revealing His true nature before the people.

Then, that was again where we see how the Lord exercised His power, commanding the evil spirits to get out of the man. The man was freed from his predicament and was liberated from the torment of those evil spirits. That the evil spirits had to obey the Lord and His commands was yet another proof that He truly was Who those evil spirits spoke about, that although they were malicious in their intent and mischievous in their actions, but they could not lie regarding the truth of the Lord and His works and mission in this world. Yet, many of the people still refused to believe in the Lord and many still continued to harden their hearts and minds against Him.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, all of these then point out to our own attitudes as Christians, as members of the Church of God. Have we allowed God to speak to us through His Spirit and allowed Him to guide us in our journey of faith through life? Or have we instead kept on resisting Him and His truth, and preferred instead to follow the ways and wisdom of this world? Or remaining adamant in our own beliefs and way of thinking, and not willing to listen to the Lord speaking to us in the depths of our hearts and minds? Many of us as Christians we prefer to still follow our own supposedly superior way of thinking and doing things, without realising that this is one major obstacle in our path towards being truly faithful to God.

There is a need for all of us God’s people to be humbler and to be more willing to listen to the Lord, to attune ourselves, our actions and deeds to God, and that requires us to allow the Lord and His Spirit to exercise His works within us and through us. We have to learn to listen and discern the will of God through His words. But one major obstacle is our many attachments and preoccupations in this world, and it will do us well to resist the temptations of these worldly desires as well as the many other pressures of worldly matters and preoccupations, all of which tend to distract us from our path towards the Lord and His salvation and grace.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, let us all therefore strive to do our best in our lives to focus our attention towards the Lord and to be humble and a good listener, in allowing the Lord to lead and guide us in our lives, distancing ourselves from the many temptations and distractions all around us. May the Lord continue to help and guide us in our journey, and may His Spirit continue to guide us with His wisdom and truth, and may His love and grace continue to strengthen us in all things and at all times. May God bless us always, now and forevermore. Amen.

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