It is 14th January 2020. The readings are from 1 Samuel 1:9-20 and the Gospel from Mark 1:21-28. The manure and medicine for the soul is a regular prayer to God who cares and provides. Whatever we do without prayer questions its authenticity. Prayer however perceived as the telescope that brings God closer to our situation. Prayer lifts the soul and sustains us to hope for what we desire. It is the prayer that offers the spiritual authority and power over the evil and evil spirits. When we pray intensely, we could be misunderstood by an on-looker never by God. God never abandons our prayers and petitions. Time taken in prayer is given what we ask is the time God prepares us to receive the gifts worthy. The first reading points out that Hannah prayed (1 Sam.1:11) for a son and God gave her what she asked. Then Eli answered, “Go in peace; the God of Israel grant the petition you have made to him.” (1 Sam.1:17). Prayer of a sincere heart is the only medium by which God responds. Prayer is our privilege, responsibility and inner longing and strength. Let us ignite our spirits with regular prayer not for asking for favour but to communicate with God who loves us and cares for us. Let us set apart a quality time to relate with God by realigning our minds to the will of God. The responsorial Psalm praises, “My heart rejoices in the Lord, my Saviour.” (1 Sam.2:1). The Gospel teaches us that spiritual authority comes by communion with God not by commuting between churches. No church or institution can impart this inner spiritual authority but it can provide means for it. It is not a tougher teachings and mesmerising miracles that grant this authority but a consistently profound communication in regular personal prayers and doing good work. Jesus possessed such great powers so spontaneously through His prayerful connections with God. Teaching of Jesus was not mere words rather it was flowing from His own spirit and actions. His significant experience with God displayed in Himself. “He gives orders even to unclean spirit and they obey Him.” (Mk.1:27). Jesus said, “The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own; but the Father who dwells in me does his works. Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; but if you do not, then believe me because of the works themselves.” (Jn 14:10). Again, the Lord said, “So shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and succeed in the thing for which I sent it.” (Isa 55:10). Our authority comes from our deep and committed faith in Jesus not from a group we belong. Let us deepen our faith in Him who offers the spiritual power to deal with the evil in us and in the world around us. May you have a good day. May God bless you.