In yesterday’s homily, I noted that God’s Word is always related to human need. If a person is dying of cancer, the gospel is God’s strong word of resurrection. If a person is permeated with guilt, the gospel is God’s assurance of forgiveness. If people experience extreme suffering, God’s word is our refuge and strength.
If a person is under the power of the devil, to that one has come the proclamation of liberty to captives, the recovery of sight to the blind, and letting the oppressed or possessed go free. In this day’s gospel, we are presented by what we understand as a classic exorcism, a quite dramatic expulsion of a demon from a person. The stuff of movies, Hollywood, but sadly also real life. But if this is just a narrative of particularly dramatic demonstration of the power of the Word, then how is it related to your human need? Your need on this day?
Perhaps we only see need in the context of the dramatic. How often have each one of us said, “Oh sure, we all have problems, but mine are small. I am sure God has bigger things to think about.” Yet Jesus came “to bring glad tidings to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, and to proclaim a year acceptable to the Lord.” Jesus came to proclaim liberty, to proclaim release, to give sight and set us free.
Free from….? Demon rum, demon pornography, demon greed, demon bitterness, demon gossip, demon anger, demon lust, demon…you can fill in your own blank. What demon burdens you? What keeps you from the next step to a fuller relationship with Jesus? Perhaps your demon is one, or perhaps they are legion.
May the Holy Spirit enlighten our minds and give us the Wisdom of insight that we might truly know our demons and then turn to the Holy One of God for grace needed to live another day acceptable to the Lord.