September 1, 2020 – 22nd Week in Ordinary Time

“Growing in our awareness that the Lord – the God of all Authority and Power – reigns supreme in the midst of every terrorizing event, every bizarre place and every haunting situation!”

(Based on 1 Cor 2:10-16 and Lk 4:31-37 – Tuesday of the 22nd Week in Ordinary Time)

(Warning: Kindly read the following first few lines with caution…. the weak-hearted ones especially…)

The Sedlec Ossuary is a small Catholic chapel, located beneath the Cemetery Church of All Saints in the town of Sedlec, in the country of the Czech Republic.
(An ossuary is a building or a sit, that is made to serve as the final resting place of human skeletal remains)

What’s so specially about this Chapel?

Or rather, what’s so strange and weird about this Chapel?

The Chapel is estimated to contain the skeletons of around 40,000 – 70,000 people, whose bones have been artistically arranged to form decorations and furnishings for the chapel!

(The history goes back to 1278 when the King of Bohemia sent the abbot of the Sedlec Cistercian Monastery to Jerusalem.

When the abbot came back he brought with himself a jar of soil from the Golgotha, that was known as the “Holy Soil”. Soon people from all over the places desired to be buried in Sedlec, thus the cemetery there had to be expanded.
In the 15th century a Gothic church was built near the cemetery and its basement was used as an ossuary. The bones stayed there for centuries till 1870 when a woodcarver named Frantisek Rint was employed for the dark task of artistically arranging the thousands of bones!)

The Sedlec Ossuary is among the most visited tourist attractions of the Czech, attracting over 200,000 visitors yearly.

Yeah, a Bone and Skeleton filled Chapel!!

Bizarre, right?

But the wonderful thing about this horrific-looking and ghastly-appearing Chapel is that, in the midst of all these dead and lifeless bones, reigns the Cross of Christ, right at the middle of the Chapel!

The sight of the powerful Christ in the dead and gloomy atmosphere, is a tremendous sign of Faith and Hope!

Yes, God reigns in the midst of every terrorizing event, every bizarre place and every haunting situation!

It is this truth that is also boldly testified and witnessed in the Gospel Reading today.

Jesus encounters a man possessed by an evil spirit and who was violent and vociferous in his shoutings!

He yells and screams, “You are the Holy One of God!?

But there is a strange reply from Jesus…

With much authority, Jesus commands to the evil possessed person, ” Be Silent….!” (Lk 4:35)

Why is it that the Lord of all Authority and Power silences the cry of the evil spirits?

They were actually saying the truth that Jesus is the Holy One of God!

The demons were giving witness to who Jesus really was…
… and perhaps even acted as great advertisements to the people of the town.

Were they not actually making Jesus more popular and making known his fame and power to all?

Then, why does Jesus forbid them so strongly and powerfully in their declaration about Him?

There could be several factors…

And these factors also teach us, how we need to be aware of the tricks and techniques of the evil one and seek to be wary of those misleading trades of Satan…

  1. They were more of a distraction than honest witnesses

The evil spirit was creating a scene…
… and was taking away the attention of the people from the teachings of Jesus.

The evil spirit was creating flutter and chaos in the gathering…
… to excite curiosity and fear and undue emotions.

The evil spirit was moving the minds of the people from the truth…
… to something spectacular and showy.

Do I get trapped in the flashy and glitzy and astonishing aspects of religion and forsake instead the serene and sublime and gentle teachings and wisdom of the Lord?

  1. They were more into defrauding than rendering genuine testimony

The evil spirit was seeking to dominate the senses of the man…
… and acquire total control of the human person.

The evil spirit being allowed to speak would have meant…
… that Jesus gave approval to its possession of the man.

The evil spirit wanted to prove and demonstrate its power…
… over the faculties and abilities of the person.

Do I allow my senses – my mouth, my eyes, my ears, my body, my thoughts – to be controlled and manipulated by the evil spirit…
… even evil spirits in the form of drugs, smoking, alcohol, sex, vices, money etc….?

  1. They were more into deception than giving a true witness

The evil spirit liked to present half-knowledge as the Truth…
… just like the Serpent did to Eve, in the Eden Garden.

The evil spirit was a cheater who traps a person into his ways…
… with subtle styles of deceptiveness and falsity.

The evil spirit was an expert in disguising himself in the form…
… of many alluring and tempting appearances.

Do I get trapped into deception of the Evil One, by being caught up in the baits of populist gospel preaching, attractive and easy-go-spiritualities and comfortable and glamorous ways of living?

The Lord today wants to encounter the evil forces in our lives…our families…our communities…our world!

When we encounter the powerful Saviour, do we…
… yell
… or resist
… or say no
… or say “I don’t need” etc?

The Lord wants to overpower the Evil…

He commands and orders, “Be Silent…”

Let us be open to receive the healing touch of the Lord.

St Paul reminds us to be aware of the working of the Holy Spirit in our lives…
… and to remain ever open and docile to His promptings:
“Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit which is from God, that we might understand the gifts bestowed on us by God.

And we impart this in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual truths to those who possess the Spirit!” (1 Cor 2:12-13)

My Life may be filled with bizarre events…

My society or my world may be tangled in a lot of filth and evil ….
My surroundings may be cluttered with many repulsive objects and events…
Yet, in the midst of all this…the Lord – the God of all Authority and Power – still reigns supreme!

As we begin the New Month of September, let us resign ourselves totally, to the Power of God…
… growing in our awareness, that, God reigns in the midst of every terrorizing event, every bizarre place and every haunting situation!

God Bless! Live Jesus!

Quotable-quote-a-day-with-St Francis de Sales (SFS) – “Even if temptation to any sin should last all our life, it cannot make us displeasing to God…

… as long as we do not take pleasure in it and do not yield to it!”

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