August 31, 2020 – 22nd Week in Ordinary Time

“Submitting ourselves to the Mighty Power and Authority of the Lord, knowing for sure that ‘when God orders, even the devil obeys!’”

(Based on 1 Cor 2:1-5 and Lk 4:16-30 – Monday of the 22nd Week in Ordinary Time)

A beautiful yet commonly quoted story goes thus:

A very poor woman called a Christian radio station asking for some assistance and help.

A man – known to be an unbeliever in God and who highly despised religion – who was listening to this radio program…
…. decided to make something out of it…

He decided to play a prank on the woman, and make her a fool.

He got the ladies’ address…
… then called his secretary and ordered her to buy food

And take to the woman with the following instruction:
“when the woman asks who sent the food…
… tell her that it’s from the devil.”

When the secretary arrived and delivered the food to the woman…
… the woman was so happy and readily accepted the food and moved inside her little house.

The Secretary, out of curiosity asked her: “But don’t you want to know who sent the food?”

The woman answered:
“NO, it doesn’t matter!

Because when GOD orders, even the devil obeys.”

… when God orders, even the devil obeys!

The Gospel of the Day presents Jesus announcing His Programmatic Speech (Lk 4: 16-30)…
… and displaying His Authoritative Power by a life of Integrity and Holiness and thus bringing the forces of evil to submission.

Jesus declares: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me…
… to proclaim liberty to the captives”

In tune with this announcement, the Lord would go about “preaching liberty to the captives”…
… those captivated by sin, by oppression, by evil forces and satanic powers

And this “liberation from captivity,” was done by Jesus…
… with a lot of power and authority
… with immense conviction and passion

The Day’s Gospel is a powerful proclamation by Jesus, as He inaugurates His public ministry at Nazareth.

The public ministry of our Blessed Lord begins with the reading and declaration of the prophetic words: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me…” (Lk 4:18)

The Jewish world had been eagerly waiting and longing for the coming of the Messiah.

But Divine Irony had it that when the Messiah did arrive…
… it was not with a mighty bang, but with a sweet gentleness and calm!

He came from a place, that was perhaps, least expected – Nazareth
He announced His coming to the public not with any grand show or spectacle – but by just declaring the Word of God with authority

But this humble beginning, that Divine Wisdom planned it so beautifully, would slowly unleash its mighty power!

The mighty words and proclamation by Jesus caused an immediate stir and buzz among the people who listened to Him.

The Gospel would testify to this fact, in the words: “And all spoke highly of Him and were amazed at the gracious words that came from His mouth” (Lk 4:22)

However, as our Blessed Lord slowly unleashed His Authority, there also arose the spirit of division and opposition.

The “all-hailing” and “all -praising” crowd, on realizing the demands placed by the Word of God…
… got converted to “being enraged” and “being infuriated”!

So much was the antagonism that had brewed up that “all in the synagogue were filled with wrath, and they rose to put Him out of the city…” (Lk 4: 28-29)

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.
… and this would naturally lead to oppositions and persecutions.

Our life is a constant battle with the powers of the evil.

Time and again, we have people and situations who discourage us

Many times we go through moments when spiritual life doesn’t seem to be encouraging

We often get tied down by the powers of temptation
… We often get disappointed by the struggles of sinful tendencies

But let’s know for sure: The power of the Lord is with us – waiting to save us!

We need to know for sure: That when God orders, even the devil obeys!

What is therefore needed is that, we need to…
… yield ourselves to the Orders of God!
… make ourselves open and docile to the Commands of God!

Let’s examine our Christian lives and check:

Do I constantly seek live a life, in the Presence of the Lord…
… so that no powers of Satan can touch us?

Do I nourish my spiritual life with the daily food of Prayer, Word of God and re-commitment to holiness…
… so that we are never under the bondage of the evil?

St Paul testifies the secret of his preaching not to his own eloquence or astuteness; rather to the strength derived from the Crucified Lord: “When I came to you, brethren, I did not come proclaiming to you the testimony of God in lofty words or wisdom.

For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.
And I was with you in weakness and in much fear and trembling…
… and my speech and my message were not in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and power!” (1 Cor 2:1-4)

The Saint of the Day – St Raymond – is another powerful example of being passionate in preaching the Lord – by life, by words
(St Raymond is the patron saint of childbirth, midwives, children, pregnant women, and priests defending the confidentiality of confession)

He spent his entire estate ransoming slaves; once during an imprisonment, in order toto prevent him from continuing his preaching, his captors bored a hole through his lips with a hot iron, and attached a padlock.
Yet, he returned with greater zeal and travelled throughout Europe as an ambassador of the Pope, and a preacher of the Kingdom!

Yes, the Mighty Power of the Lord is with us

Always wanting to provide for us!
Always wanting to take care of us!

Let’s submit ourselves to His Power and Authority, knowing for sure:
“When God orders, even the devil obeys!”

God Bless! Live Jesus!

Quotable-quote-a-day-with-St Francis de Sales (SFS) – “Let the world turn upside down…
… let everything be in darkness, in smoke, in uproar

God is with us!”

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