Monday of 7th Week of OT A

Prayer VS Power of Evil Spirit

A man, reported in today’s Gospel, said to Jesus, “Teacher, I have brought to you my son possessed by a mute spirit. Wherever it seizes him, it throws him down; he foams at the mouth, grinds his teeth, and becomes rigid.” When a person possessed by evil spirit, he could not control himself. He had no fear of hurting himself since he’s possessed by evil spirit. Thanks be to God that this young man, reported in today’s Gospel, had his father who interceded for him. His father brought him to Jesus’ disciples to expel the demon from him, but the disciples could not expel the evil spirit out of him neither. To this, Jesus said not only to the man whose son possessed by evil spirit but also to the crowd and to his disciples as well saying, “O faithless generation, how long will I be with you? How long will I endure you? Bring him to me.” Or rather saying, o you lack of faith, a generation of lack of faith. Because of lack of faith that his father, the crowd and even the disciples of Jesus, they all could not expel the evil spirit out of the young man. What is faith? How would we have an increasing of faith?

In the Catechism of the Catholic Church, it said, “Faith is a personal act - the free response of the human person to the initiative of God who reveals himself” (CCC 166). Faith is one of the three Theological Virtues—Faith, Hope and Love—free gifts from God. God implants in us these gifts and invites us to respond to him through these gifts.

In order to have an increasing of faith, hope and love, we are invited to develop a prayer life. What is a prayer? According to the “Rule of Benedict,” there are four stages of prayer. This method of prayer is called Lectio Divina or “Holy Reading.” The first stage is Lectio. In this first stage, when we read the passage from the Bible, if a sentence or a phrase speaks to us, we are encouraged to repeat it out loud or meditate upon it until the meaning is understood. Second stage is called Meditatio or meditation in which we are encouraged to silently reflect on the words we read until they are committed to memory and how they are related to our lives. The third stage of prayer is Oratio or prayer in which we are encouraged to stop thinking about God's word and the passages we have just read, and instead open our hearts in response to what we have studied and contemplated. The last stage of prayer is Contemplatio or Contemplation in which we simply rest in order that we may sense the presence of the divine and contemplate the significance of our faith. This last stage is the best stage of prayer in which we and God present to each other resting in each other. In this prayer life, we can command the evil spirit out of the one who is possessed by it. In this prayer life, we can overcome the power of the evil spirit over our lives and the lives of others. Decision is yours.


Weekday Homilies 2019

Homilies by Fr. Joseph Thang Nguyen

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