Wednesday of the 13th Week of the Year

Matt 8:28-34

The Healing of the Gadarene Demoniacs

OTHER HOMILY SOURCES:

“The demons pleaded with him. ‘If you have to drive us out, send us into the herd of swine.”  A swine eats leftover food be it spoiled, moldy, rotten or dirty. It plays with its own dung and lives with it.

In our society, we figuratively call one who misbehaves pig, swine, and baboy. Politicians who practice graft and corruption; men who abuse women and children; rich people who exploit and harass the less fortunate. The comparison doesn’t end there. At times one who acts like a pig is also referred to as evil or demonyo. The church characterizes the demon as the embodiment of evil; it categorizes acts of kababuyan like oppression, violence and injustice as evil or kademonyuhan.

In the gospel, after Jesus commanded the demons to enter the herd of swine, the whole herd rushed into the sea where they drowned. In our lives, we are invited by the Lord to discover patches of “kababuyan” in ourselves and open them to the forgiveness of others and God. (Frt. Ron P. Heruela, SVD Bible Diary 2004)

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According to James Frazier in his book Golden Bough, men of this era universally believe that some of the spirits of this world are evil by nature and cause all forms of sickness and ill fortune. Some cultures of the modern world also believe that evil spirits could inhabit a physical body and influence human behavior – a condition called “demonic possession.”

Evangelist Billy Graham in one of his sermons said that the sinful curse being perpetuated can be just about anything (or a combination of things) which becomes a habitual possession, such as physical abuse, emotional abuse, constant criticizing, incest, alcoholism, drug abuse, murder, adultery stealing, lying and the like. Some people, no matter how good or pious they think they are, still do things which they know are not right. All of us, no exceptions, have a sin-contaminated human nature which explains one, basic tendency to rebel against God and His will. Whether we like to acknowledge it or not, evil spiritual forces are constantly inciting these sinful tendencies within us to surface and attempting to influence our spirit-minds to give the OK to go ahead and manifest them. And when the Holy Spirit speaks to our inner being, letting us know the right things to do, we often ignore or refuse the advice, because we choose to remain under the control of our sinful nature.

In the gospel, Jesus preaches the word and casts out the evil spirits. And the Word that Jesus preached is also available to us, as it was to the people who heard him in Capernaum. The Word of God is powerful. It is brought to life in prayer, in the Eucharist and in our gathered community as we lift each other up in our sorrows and joys. The Word of God guides us, consoles us, disciplines us, inspires us, and protects us from all forms of evil. (Fr. Devasagayam Savariyappan, SVD Bible Diary 2009)

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PRAYER AND HUMOR (Matt 8:28-34): Very few of us experience being possessed by the devil. But even though few of us have experienced being possessed, many of us have acted like we actually were possessed.

Kicking a dog without a reason, shouting at a child simply because you are tired, gossiping about other people and pretending something we are not, are signs of diabolical possessions. Maybe none of us would shriek and bleed. Yet many of us have lived this way.

How do we exorcise the devil we see in our loved ones? The first thing to keep in mind is, never compromise with evil. We must never say something is “aright” when in fact, it is not. We must never say, “Let it pass,” when in fact we should be no compromising.

Second we must be patient and never lose our sense of humor.

There is one priest in the Archdiocese of Manila who is not so handsome. But more than just not being handsome, he is accused by his parishioners of being “doble-cara.” To his great embarrassment, while he was delivering a homily, one of his parishioners stood up and said, “Doble cara yang pari natin. Dalawang mukha yan.Sabi naman ho ni Father sa kanilang lahat, Mga kapatid k okay Kristo, maniniwala ba ho kayong dalawa ang mukha ko? Kung dalawa ang mukha ko, e bakit ho ito ang ginagamit ko?

The parishioner answer, “Kasi mas pangit yong isa!”

Never lose your sense of humor even when people insult you, even when you are face-to-face with diabolical possession.

But the most important way in which you can exorcise evil, is prayer. Rooting ourselves in God and allowing ourselves to be immersed in His Spirit the most powerful weapon in changing the world.

As we offer our Eucharist, we will ask the Lord precisely for three graces: the grace to be firm against all evil, the grace to be patient and never lose our sense of humor and the grace never to grow lazy in prayer. (Socrates Villegas Jesus Loves You, pp. 207-208)

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My Reflection for Wednesday July 2, Thirteenth Week in Ordinary Time; Matthew 8:28-34 – Reflection: What can demons do to us if we have Jesus in our lives? Nothing absolutely nothing! We are untouchable by any demonic power if we have Jesus in our lives. But do we still have Jesus in our lives today?

This is the big question now, do we still have Jesus in our life today? Or it might be that we are very preoccupied with our worries for this world that we hardly have time for Jesus anymore. And when we hardly have time for Jesus that is when the devil comes to swiftly possess us.

As evidenced by our gospel today, the demons were no match for Jesus they capitulate in surrender to Jesus. This is the power of Jesus; it can subject anyone including the devil to HIS will. But it’s sad that many of us today don’t realize this anymore for the simple reason that we have no more time for Jesus yet we create time for this world.

Where are we leading if we go with this world? It will lead us closer to  the devil hiding beneath the many pleasures of this world. We must realize this urgency before it’s too late. Let us disengage ourselves from our worldliness and let us engage Jesus for we will never go wrong with HIM.

The closer we get to Jesus the farther we go away from the devil. The closer we go to Jesus the more that we have peace and serenity in our lives. Posted by: Marino J. Dasmarinas

mjdasma.blogspot.com/2014/06/my-reflection-for-wednesday-july-2.html

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Monday, June 29, 2015

Reflection for July 1, Wednesday of the Thirteenth Week in Ordinary Time: Matthew 8:28-34

Reflection: A woman who believed in the power of Jesus also believed in the existence of Demons. Her belief in demons slowly but surely eroded her belief in Jesus. After a period of time this woman was eventually possessed by a demon.

Do you believe in demons also? Better not believe because the moment you believe you somehow allow the power of the evil one to slowly seep into you. The devil starts to become a reality in your life once you begin to believe in its existence.

In our gospel we see the power of Jesus over demons they were actually no match for Jesus that even them cowered before His presence. What does this tell you? It tells you that Jesus is the supreme power.

Evil exist within us because we allow it to exist; we give it freedom to dwell in us. How does this transpire? For example, we know that pornography is evil, so when we start to watch or read these materials.

We actually are giving freedom for the devil to have an influence in our value system. As it stays with us it also slowly but surely controls our minds that we start to begin of thinking of evil things also.

But all is not lost yet, If we know and have faith in Jesus and if we start to take Him and His teachings seriously. Satan will run away from us, evil or anything that is evil will have no place anymore in our value system.

Why? For the simple reason that Jesus is the supreme power. And when we are always connected with Jesus evil will simply be a thing of our past until we forget about it completely.

Do you sometimes allow evil to have an influence in your life? – Marino J. Dasmarinas Posted by: Marino J. Dasmarinas

mjdasma.blogspot.com/2015/06/reflection-for-july-1-wednesday-of.html

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WORDS VERSUS ACTIONS: “Why do you recite my statutes… with your mouth?”– Psalm 50:16

 “Magnanakaw ka!” (You’re a thief!)

When Edwin was a little boy, his aunt accused him of stealing milk from their kitchen. The spoonful of milk in his mouth caused Edwin to be beaten to a pulp.

Edwin’s aunt was a devout Catholic. She would gather everyone and lead the nightly rosary prayer but would utter each Hail Mary with lightning speed. She would have made it to the Guinness Book of World Records for the Fastest Talking Rosary Leader had there been such a category. As if that wasn’t enough, she would squeeze in a few scowls here and there. She knew the rosary all right, but her life was hardly a prayer.

The kitchen incident and his aunt’s behavior confused little Edwin. How can someone so prayerful be harsh and merciless?

At certain points in our lives, we may have been like Edwin’s aunt. We chose to be right rather than loving. We know God by the book but fail to recognize Him in the face of our brothers and sisters. Let us remember that a truly prayerful life is backed up by a loving heart. Osy Erica (osy.erica@gmail.com)

Reflection: Do your actions follow what you preach? Remember that the real Gospel you preach is your life.

Lord, cover me with Your grace so I may stay true to what I preach. Make a sincere servant out of me, one whose life is a prayer and an offering to You.

kerygmafamily.com/modules/dailyreadings/read.php?date=2014-07-02

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1ST READING: It seems that the Jews wanted the benefits of having God on their side but were not willing to live a moral life. This is  problematic as any relationship, for it to work, should be a two-way street. It is not a healthy relationship if it is all “give” on one side and all “take” on the other. Amos is calling the people of Israel to conversion, and the bottom line is, many of them do not want to take up the call. Amos 5:14-15, 21-24

GOSPEL: What is the significance of the miracles of Jesus where He drives demons out of people? Is possession a real possibility? It is, but it is probably not as common as some would make it out to be. Many phenomena we experience can be traced back to natural causes, in particular psychological ones. We need to be careful that we do not treat a natural difficulty of a person with a solution for demonic possession. This will not help anyone. Matthew 8:28-34

think:  Any relationship, for it to work, should be a two-way street.

kerygmafamily.com/modules/dailyreadings/read.php?date=2014-07-02

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THE “PAGAN TERRITORIES” OF OUR LIVES: Today’s Gospel episode is a dramatic one, worthy perhaps of being made into a horror movie replete with computer-generated, 3D special effects. And yet, for all the gripping suspense and drama, the narrative ends on a somewhat strange note. When word spread about what had happened (particularly regarding the herd of swine), the entire town came out to meet Jesus — but only to beg Him to go away from their neighborhood.

Why so? In the first place, this miracle of demonic expulsion took place in pagan territory. Biblical geography indicates that the town of Gadara (the setting of the incident), to the east of the Lake of Galilee, was an area inhabited by pagans or non-Jews. The herd of pigs confirms this fact, since pigs were considered as repulsive animals to Israelites.

Applying it now into our lives, we ask ourselves: Is it possible that there are certain areas in our lives that are still “pagan territory,” in the sense that we would rather not have Jesus meddling therein? Perhaps He intends to purify and liberate us from the demons of our sinful habits, but we still prefer to bargain with Him. Or also (much like what we have in the First Reading today, when the prophet Amos denounces Israel’s noisy feasts and rituals), He wants to purge us from our proclivity for New Age or neo-pagan beliefs and practices, such as horoscopes, feng shui, tarot cards, palm reading, and so on. But we still do not want to let go of them, unfortunately.

How then can we call ourselves genuine Catholics or Christians if we are given to such compromises in our faith? For such an authenticity in our beliefs and behaviors, there is no need for cinematic special effects. We just have to welcome Christ into our lives and to give witness to Him in all that we do. Fr. Martin Macasaet, SDB

REFLECTION QUESTIONS: Are there some areas in your life that are off limits to Jesus? What are you hiding from Him?

Lord Jesus, grant me the grace to open and surrender my whole life to You.

kerygmafamily.com/modules/dailyreadings/read.php?date=2014-07-02

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WEDNESDAY OF THE 13TH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME (YEAR A): MATEO 8:28-34. Kinsa man ang makapahawa sa mga daotan? Gikahinagbo ni Jesus diha sa dalan ang duha ka tawo nga nasudlan og panon sa mga daotang espiritu. Panon kini ug dili lang pipila ka mga demonyo. Dako kini nga pwersa sa yawa. Apan gisaysayan kita sa ebanghelyo nga ang mga demonyo niila kang Kristo isip anak sa Dios ug nasayod sa iyang gahum sa pagbuntog kanila. Ug tuod man, sa usa lamang ka pulong sa pagmando, gipapahawa ni Jesus ang mga daotang espiritu ug kini nanulod sa mga baboy, nangambak sa lanaw ug nangalumos. Dinhi atong masabot nga ang pwersa sa yawa walay ikasukol sa gahum sa Dios. Busa, kon ugaling atong mabati ang presensya sa mga daotang espiritu diha kanato ug sa atong katilingban, atong sangpiton ang ngalan ni Jesus ug hangyoon siya sa pagbugaw sa mga demonyo palayo kanato. Posted by Abet Uy

abetuy.blogspot.com/2014/07/wednesday-of-13th-week-in-ordinary-time.html

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Wednesday, July 1, 2015

WEDNESDAY OF THE 13TH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME (YEAR B) – MATEO 8:28-34. UNSAON MAN NATO PAGPANAGANG BATOK SA MGA DAOTANG ESPIRITU? Gikahinagbo ni Hesus diha sa dalan ang duha ka tawo nga nasudlan og panon sa mga daotang espiritu. Panon kini ug dili lang pipila ka mga demonyo. Apan ang mga demonyo niila kang Kristo isip anak sa Dios ug nasayod sa iyang gahum sa pagbuntog kanila. Ug tuod man, sa usa ka pagmando, gipapahawa ni Hesus ang mga daotang espiritu ug kini nanulod sa mga baboy, nangambak sa lanaw ug nangalumos. Dinhi, atong masabot nga ang pwersa sa yawa walay ikasukol batok sa gahum sa Dios. Busa, aron walay daotang espiritu nga manghilabot kanato, dalhon nato kanunay si Hesus sa atong kinabuhi. Kada adlaw, ato siyang sangpiton diha sa pag-ampo, paminawon diha sa pagpamalandong sa Pulong, ug sundon diha sa paghigugma sa isigkaingon. Posted by Abet Uy

abetuy.blogspot.com/2015/07/wednesday-of-13th-week-in-ordinary-time.html

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OUR GOD REIGNS – This Gospel is both funny and serious. Funny because the evil spirit elected to be sent to a herd of swine that rushed down the steep bank and drowned at sea. It makes us wonder why the evil spirit would prefer that kind of defeat? Maybe they became very desperate in the presence of Jesus.

Interesting too was the reaction of the people after being told by the swineherds of what they saw. If it happened here in the Philippines, Jesus would have found it difficult to elude throngs of people who would like to see, touch and follow Him. Instead, what happened was that the people begged Him to leave their district. The people feared losing their livelihood more than having an exorcist in their midst.

The serious side of the Gospel involves some truths about evil spirits. First, they do exist. A lot of times I’ve been asked if there really are evil spirits. I refer them to the Gospels citing Jesus’ encounters with them.

Second, they do damage to people — physically, morally and spiritually. In whatever way, no matter how small, they will inflict pain and troubles to people. They will seduce them to turn against God. They will lure people to be complacent and push them to sin.

Third, they are afraid of God. At times we forget this truth. Many times in the Gospels, Jesus encounters the evil ones. In every encounter, the evil one is defeated and humiliated. In this Gospel, they even begged for the kind of annihilation they will have. God reigns. Evil is no match to God. If we see evil as victorious over God, it is actually evil being victorious over us. The usual battleground between God and evil is in the human person. It is us who choose who to side with. If we side with evil, it will prevail over us. If we side with God, He will reign in us.

It boils down to our choice. Do we choose God or evil? Eternal life or eternal death? Good or bad? Salvation or damnation? The choice may be clear and easy, but we need to make and live that choice. Fr. Benny Tuazon

REFLECTION QUESTION: Have you made a firm commitment to choose God over evil all the time?

Strengthen my resolve, Lord, to choose You at all times. Protect me from the temptation to choose evil

kerygmafamily.com/modules/dailyreadings/read.php?date=2015-07-01

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 Casting out Evil

July 1, 2015 (readings)

Wednesday of the Thirteenth Week in Ordinary Time

Father Steven Liscinsky, LC

Matthew 8: 28-34

When Jesus came to the territory of the Gadarenes, two demoniacs who were coming from the tombs met him. They were so savage that no one could travel by that road. They cried out, “What have you to do with us, Son of God? Have you come here to torment us before the appointed time?” Some distance away a herd of many swine was feeding. The demons pleaded with him, “If you drive us out, send us into the herd of swine.” And he said to them, “Go then!” They came out and entered the swine, and the whole herd rushed down the steep bank into the sea where they drowned. The swineherds ran away, and when they came to the town they reported everything, including what had happened to the demoniacs. Thereupon the whole town came out to meet Jesus, and when they saw him they begged him to leave their district.

Introductory Prayer: Lord, I believe that you are present within me. I want to live this day close to you and see everything through the prism of faith. I want to put my trust and confidence in you. You will grant me all the graces I need today. All I have to do is ask. I want to love you with all my heart, especially in charity; giving myself to everyone I meet today so that I can communicate your love to them.

Petition: Lord, help me defeat the evil of sin in my life.

  1. Sin Keeps Us Away from God:We learn in the catechism that mortal sin takes sanctifying grace away from our soul and cuts us off from God. Today’s Gospel illustrates that separation, as the two possessed men keep their distance from Christ and want him to leave them alone. Our sin, whether mortal or venial, pushes God away from our lives. It is like telling him that we do not need him, that we do not want him in our lives. Have I willfully accepted sin in my life, thereby shunning God? Even in the slightest way?
  2. Sin Hurts Our Relationships with Others:Clearly the evil of the possessed men has hurt their relationship with their fellow men. They can no longer be a part of their community, but have to live apart from society. Every sin, in a way, is a “social sin” because it has social consequences. Even our most personal sins – in our thoughts – injure the Mystical Body of the Church, and so have an effect on others. Those sins that others see are even greater, because they cause scandal and could lead others into sin. Christ is inviting us to reject sin. Let us join him and cast out the devil from our daily lives.
  3. Sin Harms Us, Too:The evil that we do is harmful above all to ourselves. The demoniacs often gashed and cut themselves. The physical injury to their bodies signifies a deeper spiritual affliction. Our souls are made for God, and so separation from him is truly heart-wrenching. Sin avoids presenting its ugly face, but after we have committed it, our conscience begins to bother us. Then we realize that our wrong choice has separated us from the One we are drawn to by nature. We feel the pain of separation and of that rupture which divides us interiorly.

Conversation with Christ: Lord, help me to cast out sin from my life. I need your help, since I cannot do it on my own. Just like the demoniacs who longed to be freed from their torment, I also long to defeat sin in my life. So often I am overpowered by my passions or the temptations of the devil. Grant me the strength I need, Lord.

Resolution: I will promise Christ that today I will reject one specific sin or imperfection that I usually fall into.

© 1980-Present. The Legion of Christ, Incorporated. All rights reserved. Reproduced with Permission of Copyright Owner.

epriest.com/reflections/view/436

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One Bread, One Body – Reflection for July 1, 2015

BAPTISMAL AWARENESS

“As for the son of the slave woman, I will make a great nation of him also, since he too is your offspring.” –Genesis 21:13

After wandering around in the desert until she ran out of water, Hagar put her child, Ishmael, under a bush and walked a short distance away so she wouldn’t see him die (Gn 21:14-16). When the child began to cry, God sent a messenger to rescue the child and his mother by providing water for them (Gn 21:17-19). The Lord did this because Ishmael was Abraham’s child (Gn 21:13).

Abraham was the father of the chosen people. Like Ishmael, all Abraham’s children are heirs of God’s promises to the chosen people. That’s why the first words of the New Testament establish Jesus as a child of Abraham (Mt 1:1). We also have become spiritual children of Abraham by faith in Jesus (Rm 4:16) and by Baptism. Therefore, we inherit God’s promises.

This should make us aware of the importance of our Baptism (see Rm 6:3). Because we’re baptized, we can live with the Lord forever in heaven (Mk 16:16), receive Holy Communion, go to Confession, live as brothers and sisters to Christ and His family, have God live within us, etc.

To become more aware of our Baptism, we should renew our baptismal promises at Mass on Easter Sunday and other times. We should celebrate the anniversary of our Baptism annually and use holy water daily. We should rejoice in and live our Baptism by which we became children of God, children of Abraham, and heirs of God’s promises to the chosen people.

PRAYER: Father, may I lead someone this week to Jesus and Baptism.

PROMISE: “Come, children, hear me; I will teach you the fear of the Lord.” –Ps 34:12

PRAISE: Bl. Junipero Serra, a Spanish priest, burned with the desire to be a missionary. He longed to carry the gospel to those who had never heard of God (see Rm 15:20). He brought the good news to the New World, and baptized over six thousand people.

mycatholic.com/reflections/2015-182.html

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July 1, 2015

Wednesday of the 13th Week in the Ordinary Time B

Gen 21:5, 8-20, Mt 8: 28-34

Jesus has complete power over any of the evil spirits and demons

Today we have a rather strange story of Jesus curing two demoniacs. The strangeness is in that the demons recognise the divinity of Jesus and they ask Jesus to expel them into the herd of pigs nearby. The reaction of the people is also rather strange. The setting of the miracle is the land of gentiles near Gadara.

At the outset itself, the curing demonstrates that Jesus is the Son of God acclaimed even by the demons. He has power over all the worlds. He has absolute power over the world of evil spirits and over Satan who controls it. The ultimate power is in the hands of Jesus.

Recently a Hindu Lady who is much educated and is a doctor came to meet me. She said that she felt that she had been possessed by the spirit of a sadhu. The spirit is tormenting her telling her different things into her mind. She trusts that Jesus can cure her! Rather than going to Hindu temples and Babas for a cure she prefers to come to church and pray to Jesus. Some years ago when I was in a school, a girl who was studying in 5th standard stopped coming to school. When I called the parents they came to the office with the daughter. They said that the girl had been possessed by Mataji. In my presence in the office itself the girl started exhibiting signs of possession. Some people may say that these are some kinds of Para-psychic activities and need to be treated by a psychiatric. May be or may not be. But one thing is certain that there is a world of spirits and it tries to influence humans. I may appear to be quite naive in this argument, but that is what we see in Bible.

But Jesus has complete power over any of the evil spirits and demons. With a single word “Go”, he sent them out and brought those two men to normalcy. There is another thing that attracts our attention in the description. Those two men were residing among the tombs. Tomb was the place of the ‘dead’. In any town the tombs were outside the city, away from the people and their dwellings. So symbolically speaking they were equal to dead. By curing them Jesus brings them back to life, because he is the Lord of Life.

What is my condition now? Am I living or am I dead? Am I under the influence of spirits? Different kinds of evils are ruling over our minds. We are also slaves of many spirits. Craziness after power, greed for money and possessions, Lack of love and concern, Cruelty, addiction to tobacco and alcohol, addiction to pornography…. The list of spirits that have made us slaves is long. Let us come back to Jesus. Only he can cure us of our addictions to the spirits. He is the Lord of Life; He is the Lord of the Universe; He has the ultimate power. Remember we have Jesus and His Spirit with us to strengthen us. Dr. Martin Mallathu CMI 

navchetana.com/web/homilies.php?date=2015-7-1

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See Today’s Readings: Year I,   Year II

Back to: Wednesday of the 13th Week of the Year

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