Avid book-readers will testify to the fact that when some books are read – especially interesting novels or epic stories or even some real-life or dramatic stories – there is a tendency to identify oneself with one of the characters in the book.
• Such character-identification can help one to examine one’s own personal life.
• Such character-identification can help one to chalk out strategies to live life better.
The Bible is a brilliant book which offers many characters to help us to examine and evaluate our own lives.
Today’s Gospel offers us various groups of people and characters with whom we might have some identification.
We shall analyze and reflect on our lives in the light of these various characters and groups of people….
1. The demon-possessed mute man
This person is a demoniac who was unable to speak
His condition has been miserable
… kept away from the society and his family
… unable to have a normal social or emotional or spiritual life
His own family would have missed him so much… so would his relatives and friends.
How often is my condition similar?
Evil forces keep me away from having a healthy social, emotional or a spiritual life…
Rejected, depressed in life and finding no meaning to live…
2. The people who brought this mute man to the Lord
We have no idea what was the intention of the people who brought the person to Jesus.
Maybe, they were people…
… who were genuinely concerned for the well-being of the person
… who were fed up and disturbed by his threatening presence
But in either case.., they bring the person to the Lord: either in faith or in desperation.
Problems beset many people…
• Sometimes we feel compassion for them
• Sometimes we feel sorry for them
• Sometimes they become a disturbance for us
In either case, can we become an instrument of bringing the people – sick, suffering and in distress – to the Lord’s healing presence?
3. The Pharisees
The healing action of Jesus becomes another occasion for them to criticize Jesus and to speak ill of Him.
They said, “He drives out demons by the prince of demons” (Mt 9:34)
It was as if complain and criticism had almost been firmly casted into their character!
Am I also like these Pharisees…
Unable to appreciate and encourage the good that is done to people?
Constantly looking for faults and failures of people and harping on those negative to others?
4. The crowds
The crowds follow Jesus with a great desire and longing…
• Some to meet the Lord, to hear His teaching and experience His love
• Some to receive a cure and healing from the Lord
• Some just out of curiosity or because others are following Him
What is my motive and intention in following the Lord?
Is my Christian Life, just remaining part of the crowd, or do I also seek and make efforts to move closer to Him?
5. The Disciples
They stand witness to the misery of the people, on the one side, and the power of the Lord, on the other.
They are now entrusted with a task and duty to “ask the Master of the harvest to send out labourers for His harvest” and also to imitate the Good Shepherd in caring for the lost sheep.
Do I hear the call of the Lord to be a labourer for the Kingdom of God and to imitate the Master Shepherd in bringing back lost sheep to His fold?
Am I willing to take up the challenge that the Lord places before us to be a ‘consolation for the miserable’, ‘food for the hungry’, ‘joy to those in sadness’ and ‘hope for those sinful and lost’?
Jesus is the Epitome of Compassion.
He goes about His mission and duty, by bringing healing to those in misery and displaying His treasury of compassion and love to the needy.
Can I imitate our Blessed Lord in seeking to be sensitive to the needs of the people around me, and showing forth His compassion?
Do I remain unafraid of “demoniac” and “mute” and “criticized” situations of life, trusting in the Great Power of the Lord and being unfazed by any sort of oppositions or hardships in being the messenger of His Kingdom?
May the reflection on the characters of the Gospel help us to evaluate our own lives and form ourselves to be more and more worthy of our life as a Christian!
God Bless! Live Jesus!