11th Sunday in Ordinary Time – Year B – June 17, 2018

Upon awakening we look at the ripe ears

 

There is a video by Fr. Fernando Armellini with English subtitles

commenting on today’s Gospel reading:

 

Introduction

 

We have the impression of witnessing a rapid decline of Christian values. We see man trying to get rid of the idea of God, placing himself as the ultimate point of reference, as the measure of all things. He makes himself the arbiter of good and bad, absolutizes the realities of this world, and retains the faith as almost an obsolete aspect of life. This is secularism, a phenomenon that has remote historical roots, but has reached its heyday in our time. How so?

 

In the search for causes, there are those who attribute responsibility to the increasingly fearful priests. They avoid to recall those truths which, in the past, when the churches were full of worshipers, were the recurring themes of catechesis: the judgment of God, eternal condemnation, the devil, the punishments.

 

The truth is otherwise: today we are paying for the consequences of evangelization and catechesis which—without wanting to apportion the blame to willing preachers and catechists of the past—was unrelated to the word of God.

 

The future is in our hands. The church has regained consciousness of the treasure that the Master gave: the Word, seed is waiting to be spread throughout the world in abundance, so that faith may again flourish on new bases and on a sure foundation.

 

Who today, with difficulty, is spreading around the world this precious seed, will not see the ripe ears, but at least the stem, yes, he can ask the Lord to be able to see it.

 

To internalize the message, we repeat:

“Just a grain of wheat that disappears into the earth brings forth much fruit.”

 

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10th Sunday in Ordinary Time – Year B – June 10, 2018

Why Exorcism?

 

There is a video by Fr. Fernando Armellini with English subtitles

commenting on today’s Gospel reading:

 

Introduction

 

Since ancient times, the belief that evil was caused by malignant spirits led people to guard against their evil influences by resorting to magical practices, formulas, and the recitation of prayers, performing ritual acts such as destruction of statues, aspersion, spraying; everything to force the demons to leave. Exorcism, along with divination, was the essence of the Assyrian Babylonian religion. It was also practiced in Israel, where the disciples of the Pharisees successfully cast out demons (Mt 12:27). The Exorcism often bordered on magic. To increase its efficiency, invocation of names likely to contain divine power was added. Someone used the name of Jesus, sometimes getting good results (Mk 9:38), some other times causing the angry and aggressive reaction of the possessed (Acts 19:11-17).

 

Jesus heals the sick, and adapting to the current mentality, he resorts to exorcism, but he never performs magical gestures or esoteric rites. He does not pronounce incantations as the healers of his time did. He triumphs over evil only by the power of his word and asking them to have faith.

 

Exorcism should be practiced in the church in the same spirit. The belief that God would allow malicious spirits to take possession of either of his children is incompatible with belief in God who is Father. But there is no doubt that the “snake” spreading the poison of death is present in every human being from the moment of conception (Ps 51:7).

 

An exorcism is performed in the rite of baptism. It is the celebration of the victory already won by Christ on the spirit of evil. It is also the caress of the church to her child who now is going to struggle for life against the evil one. The fraternal community tells him: in this fight you’ll never be alone, we will all be at your side.

 

To internalize the message, we repeat:

“I’m not alone in the fight against evil, Christ and the community of brothers are with me.”

 

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