Saturday, January 28, 2006



JANUARY 29, 2006

"A prophet like me will the Lord, your God, raise up for you from
among your own kinsmen; to him you shall listen. This is exactly
what you requested of the Lord, your God, at Horeb on the day of the
assembly, when you said, `Let us not again hear the voice of the
Lord, our God, nor see this great fire any more, lest we die.' And
the Lord said to me, `This was well said. I will raise up for them a
prophet like you from among their kinsmen, and will put my words
into his mouth; he shall tell them all that I command him. If any
man will not listen to my words which he speaks in my name, I myself
will make him answer for it. But if a prophet presumes to speak in
my name an oracle that I have not commanded him to speak, or speaks
in the name of other gods, he shall die.'

I should like you to be free of anxieties. An unmarried man is
anxious about the things of the Lord, how he may please the Lord.
But a married man is anxious about the things of the world, how he
may please his wife, and he is divided. An unmarried woman or a
virgin is anxious about the things of the Lord, so that she may be
holy in both body and spirit. A married woman, on the other hand, is
anxious about the things of the world, how she may please her
husband. I am telling you this for your own benefit, not to impose a
restraint upon you, but for the sake of propriety and adherence to
the Lord without distraction.

MARK 1:21-28
Then they came to Capernaum, and on the sabbath he entered the
synagogue and taught. The people were astonished at his teaching,
for he taught them as one having authority and not as the scribes.
In their synagogue was a man with an unclean spirit; he cried
out, "What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come
to destroy us? I know who you are-the Holy One of God!" Jesus
rebuked him and said, "Quiet! Come out of him!" The unclean spirit
convulsed him and with a loud cry came out of him. All were amazed
and asked one another, "What is this? A new teaching with authority.
He commands even the unclean spirits and they obey him." His fame
spread everywhere throughout the whole region of Galilee.

Today's Gospel passage vividly portrays the mighty power that
radiated from the amazing words of Jesus. Mark says that Jesus held
the people spellbound in the synagogue of Capernaum because his
teaching was radically different from what they had been accustomed
to. He not only moved people, but evil spirits as well. They
shrieked and instantly fled before him, like birds scampering for
safety when people approach.

It is not only personal magnetism and the strength of Jesus'
convictions, which profoundly impress others, but also the exciting
freshness of his inner wisdom - a "completely new teaching"

The deeper meaning behind Jesus' exorcisms is that the kingdom of
Satan, which enslaved people since Adam's sin, has now given way to
the kingdom of God.

But this raises questions. If Jesus inaugurated the kingdom of God
more than 2,000 years ago, why is evil still so widespread today? If
Jesus inaugurated God's kingdom in his lifetime, why is Satan's
kingdom still so powerful in our lifetime?

The answer is that the coming of God's kingdom is not an instant
happening but a gradual process. It is not a one-time event. It's an
ongoing movement in history. Jesus inaugurated the kingdom of God.
But Jesus left us the task of completing it. That's why we still
pray: "Thy kingdom come." It is our job to see to it that the
kingdom bears the fruit God intended it to bear.

This raises another question: Why is God's kingdom so slow in coming?

The answer is that we are not doing our job as well as we should. We
are not doing our job of completing the kingdom as well as we should.

Fr. David Fleming, explaining the good and evil spirits in the
Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius, points out that just as the
good spirit may come directly from God and his angels, or from the
our inner goodness, or from the influence of good company, so the
evil spirit may come from our own selfish sinful self, or from bad
influence, or from the devil himself.

In our modern society Satan operates in a more subtle way although
the bottom line is the same - to make wealth, popularity, pride our

Now, what does the Gospel reading say to us in this church? Well,
each one of us, to some extent, has an "unclean spirit" in us. We
may have something in us that keeps us from being the kind of person
we would like to be. For example, we may have something in us that
keeps us from praying the way we would like to pray. Or, perhaps, we
may have something in us that keeps us from loving the way we would
like to love especially the members of our own family. Or, perhaps,
we may have something in us that keeps us from being generous as we
would like to be. We all have a responsibility when it comes to
spreading God's kingdom on earth. Yet how much time energy, or money
do we devote to this?

Just as Jesus drove out the unclean spirit from each man, so Jesus
wants to drive the unclean spirit out from within us. He wants to
free us from whatever is keeping us from being as prayerful, as
loving, and as generous as we would like to be. But Jesus can do
this for us only if we approach him. And how do we do this?

We can approach Jesus directly and humbly in the sacrament of
Reconciliation. This is the message in today's readings. Let us
approach Jesus and let him drive out the unclean spirit that is in
us. This is the invitation Jesus extends to each of us in today's

Let Jesus take from our hearts our unclean spirit and replace it
with the Holy Spirit!

We pray ...
- for a deep and profound respect for life, especially for the
- Thanksgiving and personal intentions of Baby Jane Figuerres.
- for the speedy recovery of Chris N.
- healings for Molly, Paula, Cindy, Jimmy, Carol and Joann.
- for the eternal repose of the soul of Nick V and Helen K. Eternal
rest grant unto them and may perpetual light shine upon them. May
they and all the dearly departed rest in peace.
- for the peace and unity of Charles & Cheryl C
- for the speedy recovery of Rodrigo.
- for the personal intentions of Tes.
- for the safe travel of Tisha.
- for the speedy recovery of Alejandro Hernandez.
- for the healing of Eric Guevarra. May the Blessed Mother
strengthen his family and enlighten his doctors and caregivers to
give him the best care possible.
- for all the prayer intentions in the MTQ Dailyprayer Diary.
- Birthday: Lily Tantuco
- Birthday: Remy Dy
- Wedding Anniversary: Romy & Margarent Cheng
- Wedding Anniversary" Griffith & Rose Marie Go
- for world peace and reconciliation.

Finally, we pray for one another, for those who have asked our
prayers and for those who need our prayers the most.

Have a good day!

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