| by Angela Lambert
July 12th, 2015; 15th Sunday in Ordinary Time
Gospel Mk 6:7-13 NAB
“Jesus summoned the Twelve and began to send them out two by two and gave them authority over unclean spirits. He instructed them to take nothing for the journey but a walking stick—no food, no sack, no money in their belts. They were, however, to wear sandals but not a second tunic. He said to them, “Wherever you enter a house, stay there until you leave. Whatever place does not welcome you or listen to you, leave there and shake the dust off your feet in testimony against them.” So they went off and preached repentance. The Twelve drove out many demons,
and they anointed with oil many who were sick and cured them.”
I would like to focus on how “the Twelve drove out many demons.” Satan and his demons, even if they do not take total possession of a person, can and do take possession of pieces of us whenever we allow ourselves to be bound by their lies and their allurements. Christ came to conquer sin and death that we might experience freedom and the “fullness of joy.” In this passage we see that He does this by giving His own authority to those He had chosen and sending them out to us. Christ gave His saving Truth to His Church, not because of the apostles’ perfect character but simply because He willed it and wanted to personally extend His Gospel throughout the whole world. He continues to do this through the apostles’ successors today, who are also flawed human beings, and yet still messengers of the authoritative and saving word of God. This Truth confronted the recipients’ sin, thus the call for repentance before being able to receive healing. Oftentimes our response to being convicted of sin is to become defensive, attack the messenger, or walk away. To this response Jesus tells the apostles to “shake the dust from their feet” and move on to those who are open to His Word. Yet, sin is precisely where the demons have a foothold in our heart and deprive us of true joy. You may not feel strong enough to overcome a sin, but by acknowledging your sin and inviting Christ in, and His Body the Church, He can drive the demons out and fill you with His peace. The choice is up to you.
- Think of one sin you struggle with the most.
- What are the lies and rationalizations that keep you tied to this sin?
- People were free to accept or reject the apostles. Consider how receptive or defensive you are toward those Christ sends to you. Who specifically are those persons in your life?
- Invite Christ to free you with the help of His grace, to accept His Truth and to detach from the lie or sin you are struggling against. You don’t have to do it alone, He gives you the whole Church, infused with His own authority and grace, to strengthen and support you.
Make a Resolution (Practical Application):
- Identify one specific, practical way you will reach out to accept the support of Christ’s Church to help you overcome your sin and receive freedom and healing.
- (Examples: talking openly with a spiritual friend or your priest; receiving grace through attending a daily Mass; meditating on Scriptures or spiritual books that address your particular struggles; going to the sacrament of Confession…)
|* These Sunday meditations are intended to engage the heart and imagination in prayer and include a practical application (resolutions) to your daily life. In our presentation on prayer I offer a more detailed discussion of ways to pray with Scripture that can take 5 minutes, 15 minutes, or half an hour and vary in depth depending on your time-frame and prayer goals.|