"Where We Bear Christ in our Lives"

Browsing HOMILIES

4TH SUNDAY: QUIET! CALLATE!

No, I'm not preaching about demons. Imagine Dragons nailed it. The truth of the matter is, we seldom talk about them in church but they're real - powerful - manipulative - glamorous - malevolent - smart and (add yours). They've caused tremendous damage: destruction of innocent lives, opiod crisis, meaningless violence, abuse of children, minors and vulnerable adults, and divisions - internal struggle - infighting - ugliness (of all sorts) in parishes, among others. They are, by nature, hostile (not necessarily immoral) and alien to God and do anything in their capacity to obstruct divine affairs and terribly harm sacred institutions. Demonic powers populate and inhabit marketplaces, homes, establishments and yep, sadly even holy places. And the prime target, hard to believe, but by now, you should be aware, are those known to be closest to God. Ergo, at any given point in time, unclean spirits pry on us. Interesting and frightening...

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Considering its proximity to the house of Simon and Andrew, could this 4th century synagogue ruins in Capernaum be the site of the expulsion of the demoniac? Possibly. Miraculous healings dominate Mark and today is the beginning of a long- series of Jesus' marvelous deeds: the excorcism of a man with an unclean spirit (case of a demonic possession) and not a mentally disturbed individual by any standard. Demons have nothing in common (incompatible) with the divine. In the encounter, I tend to think that dualism is at- play but there's no contest. God rules by silencing the man, Quiet! Come out of him! In so doing, he easily shut down the tyranny of the demoniac here and elsewhere. By the way, me encanta, Callate! That means, Jesus told the demoniac to shut up...A similar expression anyone would appropirately say to an annoying, distracting person.

We too can stop demons from making waves and noises (unofficially, not exorcism by the book) by paying close attention in small ordinary matters: constant (daily) examination of (keep it clear, preferably at room temperature) conscience, frequent devotion to the Sacrament of Reconciliation and weekly attendance at Sunday Mass as there's nothing more profound than a community in worship of the divine, grow in faith, make gratitude a habit, expand social connections, speak out and create wholeness a dentro y a fuera. Whenever there's harmony, joy, selflessness, forgiveness, etc unclean-ugly spirits are quieted and the Holy One of God reigns! and the world is tranfored for the better...

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Since Mark is a gospel of passion and suffering inscribed at the height of brutal persecution, a church in crisis, we, @ St. Christopher, are putting together our personal and communal struggles and offer them all to the Lord as we, poco a poco, enter into the world of Mark. Amen.