Homily for Monday, 4th Week of Ordinary Times

February 04, 2019
Homily for Monday, 4th Week of Ordinary Times

 MONDAY, 4th WEEK OT – February 4, 2019

[Heb 11:32-40 ;  Mc 5:1-20]

 In today’s First Reading the author of the Letter to the Hebrews refers to the great Old Testament hero’s and their mighty deeds. However, one sentence is eye-catching: ‘Out of weakness they were made powerful’. This is a crucial paradox, both in the Gospel and in our monastic tradition. Let us remember our own hero, and father of monasticism, St. Antony (251-356), after his desperate struggle against the monstrous demons in the desert. It was only after Antony’s full acknowledgement of his own human weakness, that he could perceive the Lord’s help; and then he became stronger than ever (Life 10:2-4).

In the Gospel Reading, Jesus, who himself has struggled with the Devil in the desert, is faced with the horrific destructive effects of a dark force within a poor defenseless human being. First, it is said, ‘an unclean spirit’, in singular. But then it turns out to be a whole multitude: ‘Legion is my name. There are many of us’. Two thousand disordered and devastating forces!  Jesus does not even need a single word to drive them out, all of them, and to restore the victim in his human dignity.

Let us never despair, never give up faith. Whatever negative spirit may attack us within our hearts, let us always acknowledge our own powerlessness and put all our hope on Jesus Christ. Some kinds of spirits we cannot defeat by our mere own powers, but ‘can only be driven out through prayer’ (Mc9:29).

 

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