Jan 12 (Mk 1:21-28)

 
Chess is a popular game that is loved and played by millions around the globe.
>> It is a two-player strategy board game that is played on a chess board.

The game of Chess brings alive a war on the board…
…with clever strategies and witty planning
…with constant movements and sharp tactics

>> It’s a sort of a battle that rages strongly….
>> It’s a sort of a combat that is highly engrossing….

Our Christian lives sometimes represents such a game of Chess
…with constant warfare and continual clashes with the evil forces

The difference of course, is that the Christian warfare is not fictitious; it is real and lively!

The Gospel of the Day presents such an action of encounter…
… between the Kingdom of Satan and the Kingdom of God
… between the shackles of captivity and bondage and the power of release and liberation

Jesus is in the synagogue on the Sabbath Day and addressing the people. (Mk 1:21)

>> His teaching is full of power and conviction…
>> His teaching is filled with passion and fervour…

When one is deeply convinced of one’s beliefs, it overflows into one’s words and actions
>> When one is highly passionate about one’s faith, it overwhelms one’s deeds and life.

As He taught the people, Jesus encounters a man with an unclean spirit, who cried out:
” What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth?” (Mk 1: 24)

>> Where there is light, darkness cannot stand too long…
>> Where there is immense holiness, filth cannot remain for long…
>> When there is the Word of God being proclaimed, the powers of Satan begin to tremble…

Imagine this situation…

Jesus had been preaching for a while in the synagogue.
>> All people were in rapt attention & awe, listening to His gracious words.

But in the midst of them.. was this man, with an unclean spirit.

He also was patiently hearing…

… But as the bold words flowed from Jesus, the spirit within this man began to disturb.

>> The Lord’s voice began to reverberate his heart and mind…
>> The Lord’s voice began to pierce into the depths of his soul…

He began to get agitated.
> He began to get restless.
>> He began to get frantic.

And finally, he could no longer tolerate and with a massive and shrieking voice, he cried:
“What have you got to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth?!”

>> The cry of the man is not something in isolation….
>> The cry of the man is not something which is unique….

>>> This cry is often repeated by all of us too…
>>> This cry is often repeated by our present generation too…
“What have you got to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth?”

When we are living a life of coziness and comforts…
>> And we are encountered with situations of misery and helpless of other people..

We hear the words of the Lord to reach out to them in compassion and love.
… But, often we cry out, “What have you got to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth?”

 
When we are living a life in sin, bad habits and without even a sense of guilt…
>> And we are encountered by caring people who remind us of our need to give up such things…

We hear the words of the Lord to renew and mend our lives in purity and holiness.
… But, often we cry out, “What have you got to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth?”

When we are going through our life without proper sacraments and religious practices…
>> And we are encountered by constant exhortations to deepen our spiritual life…

We hear the words of the Lord to return to Him in humility and repentance.
… But, often we cry out, “What have you got to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth?”

We are happy to remain with the spirit of luxury, the spirit of casualness, the spirit of indifference, the spirit of lukewarmness, the spirit of pleasures etc…

> We don’t like being disturbed.
>> We don’t like being questioned.
>>> We don’t like being shaken up.

If we are, we get agitated and irritated… we resist and we get wild.
>> We even shout out: “What have you got to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth?”

But, in all such situations, the Lord wants to empower us with His powerful & bold words:
“QUIET! Come out of him” (Mk 1: 25)

Yes, our life is a constant warfare with the forces of the evil and the spirit of darkness.

It’s a battle that rages strongly…
>> It’s a combat that is highly engrossing.

>> Let us not allow the evil power to “checkmate” us!
>> Let us not give way to Satan to “defeat” us!

The Powerful and Awe-Inspiring Lord is on our side! Let us hold on to Him… and victory will be ours!

In the language of the game of chess: Check…?

God Bless! Live Jesus!

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