It is 11th October 2019. We celebrate the memorial of St. John XXIII, Pope. As we are having a special devotion to Mary during this extraordinary missionary month, the saint of the day stands tall with his great devotion to Mother Mary. Even though he achieved many things within those five year of his papacy, he strongly believed in unity, peace and equality. A pope who convened the Second Vatican Council and his encyclical “Pacem in Terris: Peace on earth,” inspires us all. A pope who worked and wished the respect and relationship with the other faith communities by his ecumenical council and contributions. He was canonized on 27 April 2014. The readings are from Joel 1:13-15, 2:1-2; and the Gospel from Luke 11:15-26. The petals of life remind us the fabric and creativity of the creator whether we notice or ignore it. Recognising goodness and celebrating it in us and around always chases the presence and influence of evil in us. The more we become obsessed and picking on the shades of evil in us and others, we tend to criticise, condemn and conflict with truth and beauty in others. The first reading urges us to be prepared to face the day of the Lord. To face God, one needs to deal with the impact of demons and repent seriously. We cannot exorcise evil with the power of devil and his associates. As missionary disciples, we need to repent and return to the Lord before we wish to reach out homes and hearts of people. Pope Francis teaches in his apostolic exhortation, “Gaudete et Exsultate” (“Rejoice and Be Glad”), “We should not think of the devil as a myth, a representation, a symbol, a figure of speech or an idea,” the Pope wrote. “This mistake would leave us to let down our guard, to grow careless and end up more vulnerable.” To deal with the evil and encounter God and the day of judgement, the prophet Joel stresses us to do prayer, penance and fasting. The responsorial Psalm acclaims, “The Lord will judge the world with justice.” (Ps.9:9). Being faithful to God, there is no neutrality. Either we are for God or against God. Either we communicate with the Father of Truth or commune with the father of lies. It is all about our honesty and relationship with God. We relate with God in order to recognise and deal with the evil in and around us. Jesus, the exorcist par excellence through His communion with the Father curtails and eradicates the evil in us. “Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters.” (Lk.11:23). We need to be on the side of Jesus and God in dealing with the evil, not any human power that promises temporary solutions to human problems. The pascal victory of Jesus is the sure and tangible experience for us to fight against evil. To be a saint for a day is not expected of us. We need to be consistently being good and warding off evil on a daily basis. If not the unclean, the disgusting evil spirit return to our hearts and life. To be a missionary disciple is to fight against the evil and constantly concreting the foundations of goodness by our genuine relationship with God. Though vulnerable and weak we may be, only by belonging and taking side with Jesus, we can fight against every form of evil. We need recognise the limitations we have as a missionary disciple and learn to engage, convert and committed consistently. May the Lord help us to relate with God more than what we are today and do everything in our means to deal with evil. May you have a good day. May God bless you.

Leave a Comment