Friday of the Twenty-Seventh Week in Ordinary Time
October 9, 2020
Memorial Feast: Saints Denis, Bishop and Martyr, and Companions, Martyrs
Memorial Feast: Saint John Leonardi, Priest (1541-+1609)
Readings: Letter of Saint Paul to the Galatians 3:7-14; Psalm 111:1-6;
In today’s Gospel of Saint Luke, Jesus is presented as being very “confrontational.” People in the crowd see His power and assign it to, well, demonic influence. Our Lord speaks up, with much emotion, to dramatize the absurdity of their accusation. Could we pray today with Jesus as the confronter?
For me, Jesus comes into ministry seeking not to confront but to invite, to engage, and to announce the 'Good News' to people who need Good News. His first instincts are to touch, to heal, and to embrace. In Words, His first instincts are to immortalize Good News in a story or image that will include and console people, especially those who have felt out of touch and abandoned.
Our Lord received an empowering call at His baptism to live the role of the suffering servant which is described in the late chapters of the prophet Isaiah. He went into the desert to pray His way into this role. The role called Him not to cry out or shout but rather to encourage, to, according to Isaiah, bind up the bruised reed and to blow the smoldering wick into burning.
From His very first days of finding Himself in this role, He encountered a surprising experience. He heard in Himself a voice that said, “I can give you what you seek, but by a different route. My route is clearer, stronger, more dramatic, and more secure.”
In order to be faithful to His new role, Jesus had to first confront that demonic voice within. He opted early for a gentleness that was neither soft or weak. I believe, to His surprise, He learned that some voices need to be addressed clearly, immediately, and firmly. Today Jesus tells His critics, “But if it is by the finger of God that I drive out demons, then the Kingdom of God has come upon you.”
The human struggle made Jesus into a “confronter” that He never planned to be.
May He help us to resist whatever we need to confront in our lives.
Question of the Day: How will you confront the “evil voices” in your life with the richness of the Good News of the Holy Gospel?
Prayer: Father in heaven, take away from me anything that hinders my spiritual growth. Amen.