Man’s inner struggle
January 9, 2018
1st Week in Ordinary Time
1st Reading: 1 Sam 2:1.4-5.6-7.8abcd
Gospel: Mark 1:21-28
Jesus and his disciples went into the town of Capernaum and began to teach in the synagogue during the Sabbath assemblies. The people were astonished at the way he taught, for he spoke as one having authority and not like the teachers of the Law.
It happened that a man with an evil spirit was in their synagogue and he shouted, “What do you want with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are: You are the Holy One of God.” Then Jesus faced him and said with authority, “Be silent and come out of this man!” The evil spirit shook the man violently and, with a loud shriek, came out of him.
All the people were astonished and they wondered, “What is this? With what authority he preaches! He even orders evil spirits and they obey him!” And Jesus’ fame spread throughout all the country of Galilee.
(Daily Gospel in the Assimilated Life Experience)
It was shocking for Lucifer who was once an angel to know that God was running after human beings who betrayed Him, not to judge them but to save them. The last straw that broke the camel’s back was the incarnation. Lucifer found it insulting that God should become human because it meant one thing: humans were more important to God than angels. In disgust he broke from the ranks of the principalities and enthroned himself in hell with the sole mission of oppressing humanity.
In recent years Lucifer’s battleground shifted from the external world to man’s inner sanctum. Lucifer labors to make man lose his sense of dignity and so feel it natural to wallow in sin. Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI calls this ‘nihilism’ – a state of utter loss of dignity that frees the person from all inhibitions to commit sin.
As we feel helpless in this battle with Satan, today’s Gospel reading comes as a welcome relief. The reading shows us that God champions our cause and that the devil hasn’t overpowered God yet. If the devil hasn’t overpowered God as yet, and if God is still willing to fight for us, then we just have to surrender to him by remaining open to his grace. It is when man is not open to the work of grace that the devil gets the upper hand. This demands total self-surrender. When the surrender is not total a person backslides and is lukewarm attitude only siphons into his life more devils. Empty and cleansed, their inner selves become like a vacuum that sucks back even more devils than those driven out.
Lucifer is consumed with envy because man is precious to God, even more precious than the angels. He wouldn’t miss any opportunity to destroy us. Forewarned is forearmed! — (Atty.) Rev. Fr. Dan Domingo P. delos Angeles, Jr., D.M.
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