Tuesday, September 3, 2013
1 Thessalonians 5:1-6,9-11; PS 27 I believe that I shall see the good things of the Lord in the land of the living; Luke 4:31-37
Today in the life of the church we recall the life and holiness of Pope Gregory the Great, who lived between 540 and 604. He was a Monk. He dedicated his life to service of God living in community. He established several monasteries. Eventually he was elected to the Chair of St. Peter where he guided and directed the church for 14 years.
He was known to be a man of acute wisdom and deep humility and compassion though he was not soft.
Here is a quote that i find fitting for today's readings, "If we knew what time we would depart from this world we would be ale to select a season for pleasure and another for repentance, but we don't so each day is a truce and a day of conversion.."
Each day is a truce, a day in which we stop opposing God's grace and we stop fighting his hand that is trying to make us like his son.
Today truce in which we set aside hostility toward God and neighbor and prepare for our departure that we know not when but we do know will be.
As St. Paul tells us in the first reading the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. But we are not in the darkness but rather in the light. The light of Christ already illuminates the the hour when we are called home.
So we call a Truce without selves and with those we fight and heed the words of St. Paul, "Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, as indeed you do."
Encourage one another and build one another up.
What a beautiful way to be prepared for the coming of the day of the Lord, for our own departure form this world to the next. What a beautiful way to allow the light of Christ to intensify and brighten our world.
Lastly in the Gospel we see Jesus casting out the unclean spirit. The world daimon which is translated as demon can be translated several ways: demon, spiritual entity or uncontrollable urge and impulse to some type of activity.
The biblical writer wants to acknowledge the powerful psychological and emotional drives that can often control our lives and even propel us into dangerous and harmful areas. We all have runaway human inclinations and addictions that can be overwhelming.
The biblical writer isn't denying the effects of the demon or the devil in our life but rather pointing out that this entity loves to tap into those impulsive and runaway inclinations and drive us further and further from our home.
Jesus comes to heal those realities. When we are powerless and helpless it is his strength that seeks to enter in and bring that peace and control we so long for in our life.
This is why so many recovering addicts known so well the power greater themselves that can restore them to sanity. Jesus helps bring a truce into our lives. Thus we too shall see the good things of the Lord in the land of the living as the psalm reminds us.
May we lean on the authority and power of Christ that commands the unclean spirits in our lives and brings forth a truce and peace and healing.
Words of wisdom and advice from St. Pope Gregory the Great:
"When we attend to the needs of those in want, we give them what is theirs, not ours. More than performing works of mercy, we are paying a debt of justice."
"The proof of love is in the works. Where love exists, it works great things. But when it ceases to act, it ceases to exist."