Monday, August 29, 2022

The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Mission and Power.


"Jesus went down to Caper­naum, a town of Galilee. He taught them on the sabbath, and they were astonished at his teaching because he spoke with authority.

"In the synagogue there was a man with the spirit of an unclean demon, and he cried out in a loud voice, “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, “Be quiet! Come out of him!”

"Then the demon threw the man down in front of them and came out of him without doing him any harm.

"They were all amazed and said to one another, “What is there about his word? For with authority and power he commands the unclean spirits, and they come out.” And news of him spread everywhere in the surrounding region."
(Luke 4:31-37).

Tuesday 30th August 2022 of the 22nd Week of Ordinary Time.

In today's Gospel, Jesus came face to face with a demoniac. Yesterday I started a book called THE SAINTS THAT BATTLED SATAN. Some of the saints in this study are: Anthony the Abbot, Francis of Assisi, Dominic, Ignatius Loyola, Teresa of Avila, Benedict, John of Vianney, Martin de Poress and others. I was depressed yesterday as a result of reading stories after stories of endless struggles with the powers of darkness. Today I am filled with consolation as I realized that this is a necessary knowledge for every true disciple of Jesus. Whether you like it or not, you cannot escape your own spiritual combats.

"Jesus rebuked him and said, “Be quiet! Come out of him!”
"Then the demon threw the man down in front of them and came out of him without doing him any harm."

The people were amazed that with a word of authority, Jesus expelled the devil from the man.

What is authority? Authority means power.  Listen to Jesus in the promise of the Gift of the Father in Acts 1: 8. "You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit comes."
Only then can you bear witness to Me and do My work. The Holy Spirit power is critical to witnessing and evangelization. Witnessing and evangelization involves spiritual warfare.

The Holy Spirit is therefore the Spirit of power above every other attribute He has. The miracles of Jesus which are the works of Jesus like in the Gospel of today are works of authority or power. The words of Jesus in the Gospel are words of authority or power. The words or sayings of Jesus are authoritative. That means they produce at once what they say.

The miracle itself or works of wonders clarify the words of Jesus. In Jesus, words and actions form a mysterious unity.  "The testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy." (Revelation 19: 10). Whatever Jesus says must happen!

We the Baptized do not have the spirit of fear. Many of us act in fear as if possessed by the spirit of fear. In Baptism, we receive the Spirit of power. This is the Spirit that marks the children of God the Father and not the spirit of cowardice, which is evil and impure spirit.

"Hence the apostle Paul rightly says: You have been granted the privilege not only to believe in Christ but also to suffer for his sake. He tells us why it is Christ’s gift that his chosen ones should suffer for him: The sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed in us." (St Bede the Venerable).

How then do we activate the Holy Spirit in our lives? Faith acting through Prayer is the Activator of the Holy Spirit. Mary says: "I believe what you have told me. Now let it be done to me according to your promise." (Cf Luke 1: 37 - 38).
Following this declaration of Mary, Jesus became instantly incarnate in the womb of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Jesus says in IN SINU JESU:
"Be faithful to her Rosary. It is the shield and sword of spiritual combat. It assures your victory over the powers of darkness. Why? Because it is a humble prayer, a prayer that binds the soul who prays it to the victory of My Mother over the ancient serpent." (IN SINU JESU page 59).

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