Seek good and not evil
so that you may live,
and that the Lord, God of Hosts, may really be with you
as you claim he is.
Hate evil, love good,
maintain justice at the city gate,
and it may be that the Lord, God of Hosts, will take pity
on the remnant of Joseph.
I hate and despise your feasts,
I take no pleasure in your solemn festivals.
When you offer me holocausts,
I reject your oblations,
and refuse to look at your sacrifices of fattened cattle.
Let me have no more of the din of your chanting,
no more of your strumming on harps.
But let justice flow like water,
and integrity like an unfailing stream.
When Jesus reached the country of the Gadarenes on the other side, two demoniacs came towards him out of the tombs – creatures so fierce that no one could pass that way. They stood there shouting, ‘What do you want with us, Son of God? Have you come here to torture us before the time?’ Now some distance away there was a large herd of pigs feeding, and the devils pleaded with Jesus, ‘If you cast us out, send us into the herd of pigs.’ And he said to them, ‘Go then’, and they came out and made for the pigs; and at that the whole herd charged down the cliff into the lake and perished in the water. The swineherds ran off and made for the town, where they told the whole story, including what had happened to the demoniacs. At this the whole town set out to meet Jesus; and as soon as they saw him they implored him to leave the neighbourhood.
Have you come here to torture us
It has been a struggle for me the past two weeks as I battle issues in my life. Two of my friends who prayed for me could sense my distractions and frustrations. One of them told me to pray for the blood of Jesus to protect me and my family and also to cast out the evil spirits out in my life. I took her advice and have been doing that daily.
Daily, I wake up and consecrate the day to our God, thanking him for the gift of life and surrendering all to Him and asking for His guidance and protection. There were occasions when my faith was tested. I started to cast out the spirits of fear, doubt, unforgiveness, pride, envy in Jesus name out of my life. To my amazement, I felt the peace in me. I attend evening mass when possible and the homilies speak to me, like as though God was talking to me. Even the facebook posts are another way God speaks and consoles me during my time of struggle especially with family issues, work and my dreams.
Indeed when one is plagued by fear and anxieties, we tend to want to be in control of the situation. Yet based on human strength, this may worsen the situation and cause more anxieties. These challenges we face work slowly and subtly, pulling us away from God. They whisper thoughts of guilt, resentment, pride, causing us self pity within ourselves. It is when we surrender the situation to God, and let Him take over, miracles happen.
The two men who were possessed by the demons saw Jesus as a threat to the hold they had over their victims. By contrast the disciples saw him as the one who could keep them safe and protected. It is a liberating feeling being able to be set free from our struggles. We all have choices in life and all of our choices matter to Jesus. Do we have a habit of running to Jesus with our hopes and fears of the day? Do we trust God to let go and let Him take control of our lives?
(Today’s OXYGEN by Patricia Ang)
Prayer: Jesus, draw me close to you so that we may not be tempted by the evil one. We cast out all the evil spirits in your name. We seek to dwell in your presence.
Thanksgiving: We give thanks for your presence and protection. May your peace dwell within us and may we open to receive your graces.