Yesterday we read how Jesus, “rebuked the wind and said to the sea, ‘Quiet! Be still” (Mk 4:39)! Today we read how Jesus rebuked the unclean spirit and said, “Quiet! Come out of him” (Mk 1:25)! In both cases and throughout the Gospels, Jesus is showing his authority as Lord of All. The power he wields is the divine outpouring of the Love shared between himself and his Father who is the Holy Spirit which is extended out to us.
We are invited to participate in the same life and authority of the love of Jesus. The question is, do we want to? We are inclined to sin, have adopted sinful tendencies and habits, and are entrenched in debilitating defense mechanisms that have developed over years, and maybe, even unbeknownst to us, we have even entertained and executed the influences of demons. These negative attributes will not dissolve overnight. What we can do on this Lord’s Day, is determine and decide who today is the Lord of our life. Is it us or Jesus? If you choose Jesus, read on.
May we make some time today to sit and examine our conscience and identify a habit, a thought pattern, something in our life that is counter to serving the will of God. Call to mind the seven deadly sins of pride, avarice (greed), envy, wrath, lust, gluttony, sloth, or acedia (CCC 1866) and choose one to uproot. Clearly identify it and then rebuke it in the name of Jesus. Then, as we continue into the day, and at the very instant the temptation arises again, at the moment it seeps into our thoughts, we need to use the words of Jesus and in his name rebuke it again, again, “In Jesus’ name: Pride, Quiet, be still!” or “In Jesus’ name: Pride, Quiet, come out of me!”
We also need to replace that which we have uprooted. As we identify and uproot the capital sins, those main roots that nourish many other negative and sinful behaviors, we must replace them by learning and putting into practice the four cardinal virtues of prudence, justice, temperance, courage, and the three theological virtues of faith, hope, and love. We must realize in this work of healing, that alone we will not succeed, for we must align our will and discipline with the power of his name. When we call upon the name of Jesus in seeking healing for ourselves and others, he is present and will work through us just as he did when he healed and cast out unclean spirits as has been expressed in our readings.
Where the light and love of Jesus the Christ is present, no darkness can remain. May we be willing to hold the healing hand of Jesus, our Blessed Redeemer, that he may reveal to us that which is keeping us from his Father and so choose to repent and experience the healing power of his Love. May we be willing to discipline ourselves and re-align ourselves with the guidance of Emmanuel, God with us. May we be willing to surrender our lives to Jesus, to become holy, to become saints, to be his instruments of his love and healing.
Photo: 4th century mural of Jesus from catacomb of Commadilla