Thursday, February 5, 2015

Evil should be silenced and expelled

Praised be Jesus, Mary, and Joseph!

Be quiet! Come out of him!
“A new teaching with authority!” This is how amazed people described the teachings of our Lord which was accompanied by great signs, among them is an exorcism. “The people were astonished at his teaching, for he taught them as one having authority and not as the scribes. 2 things they said about Jesus’ teaching: first, it was new and second, it had authority. The newness and the authority of our Lord’s teachings come from who he is. The demons themselves could not deny it: “We know who you are – the Holy One of God.” It is from who he is that Jesus of Nazareth has power to destroy evil spirits. In a world that was dominated by Satan, something new was breaking that dominion and this is none other than the Kingdom of God. In a world enveloped by the darkness of sin and the shadow of death, a new light was appearing. Behold, the Holy One comes: Jesus of Nazareth. He comes to destroy the reign of the evil one.

“The coming of God’s kingdom means the defeat of Satan’s: ‘If it is by the Spirit of God that I cast out demons, then the Kingdom of God has come upon you.’ Jesus’ exorcisms free some individuals from the domination of demons. They anticipate Jesus’ great victory over the ‘ruler of this world.’ The Kingdom of God will be definitely established through Christ’s Cross: ‘God reigned from the wood.’” (CCC, 550)

Sometimes it is difficult to believe that the Kingdom of God has already come because when we look around us, we continue to see evidences of the reign of Satan. The cruel fate of the fallen 44 at the hands of their enemies provokes us to ask: “Where is justice? Is the Kingdom of God truly upon us? If Christ has conquered sin, then why do evil men continue to afflict us? Why do good men fall?” Evil men strike us with impunity. They threaten us with violence and oftentimes, they succeed in pushing us into silence. They threaten us with bomb attacks, explosion everywhere in order to get our silence. And the silence of good men is all they need to let evil triumph. “All that is necessary for evil to triumph is that good men say nothing, and do nothing.”

And yet, in the gospel we hear: “Jesus rebuked (the evil spirit) and said: ‘Quiet! Come out of him!’” It is not good men who should be silenced. It is evil that should be silenced. Evil should not maim us in fear. Rather, evil should be driven out. We should not be intimidated by the power of evil. The power of the evil one is great indeed, but it is not unlimited. It will come to an end and Satan is well aware of this. He knows that his days are numbered. He knows that his kingdom is collapsing. That is why he kicks and bites. Knowing that he is already condemned, Satan struggles to create as much damage as he can. But kick and bite as much as he wants, Satan is going down! This is what I have seen again and again with every case of exorcism I witness. Demons try to intimidate with loud cries and manifestations of power.  But all of these are tricks to deceive us into thinking that nothing can be done to make them fall. My eyes have seen again and again the power of Jesus’ Holy Name. I have seen again and again how the evil spirits flee at the Name of Jesus. I have seen again and again how the love of the Lord Jesus always triumphs over the hatred of the evil one. And this is what we have to believe: we have to believe in the power of the Lord’s love. We must never forget that Jesus is God and Satan is only a creature. It is useless for Satan to fight against the Lord. It is a mismatch. The victory belongs to Christ. His love in the end will always triumph. That is why evil should not silence us. Instead, we should silence evil with the proclamation of the Gospel. Violence should not oppress us into submission. Rather, we should overcome it with love. I remember that 1945 song: “We shall overcome, we shall overcome, we shall overcome someday. Oh, deep in my heart, I do believe, we shall overcome someday.” Jesus said, “Do not fear…I have overcome the world.”

Jesus, I trust in you! O Mary conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee!

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