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Friday, January 30, 2009

Homily: Jesus' words have power, and through his words there is healing. (Mark 1: 21-28)

The Gospel today is not lengthy in words, quite short actually.

However, when I began to prepare for this homily, it didn’t take long to realize that the words of the gospel contained significant meaning, especially significant meaning for our lives as Catholics.

The Gospel speaks of Jesus as “One who teaches with Authority,” his words have power, and through his words there is healing.

John the Baptist said that the One coming after him was more powerful, and that the one coming after him would have a ministry that would do more that just preach…. He stated that His preaching would change the world. Just as John had foretold, Jesus came with a powerful message. He revealed in a very personal way, in a very human way, who God was and what he expected from us.

He brought us the message of the Kingdom of God, and our salvation. Jesus is calling us to change and to believe the Good news. Jesus wasn’t just a messenger, Jesus is the Son of God, He is the One who teaches and preaches with a heavenly authority. We must never forget, Jesus was begotten from God, meaning that he became from God, is of God, and is God, One in the same. When Jesus declares something, or desires something, it is done!

Hearing the word of God, the words of Jesus, is hearing the truth, the pure truth; and when applying this truth to our lives, and when we live in this truth, there is no room for evil, actually, evil being the opposite of God’s truth, it is repelled away in the presence of truth, and then we are left with peacefulness and healing occurs.

Last weekend, my daughter Mackenzie and I, along with others from our parish and the local parishes, traveled to San Francisco to participate in the Annual “Walk for Life.” We joined over 30,000 people, mostly Catholics, to show a united message that we value life, all life. Leading the walk were more ladies than I could count, who held up signs that stated, “I regret my abortion,” and they were followed by numerous men who marched with signs that stated, “I regret lost fatherhood.”

I had an opportunity to speak to a few of them. Their stories were as varied as they were, but they all had a common theme. After the abortion, at one point in their lives, they all heard the word of God, they experienced a connection and a relationship with Jesus, and they knew without a doubt that the words were not only comforting, but true. They applied this truth to their lives and they were healed. But not only healed, they were transformed. They were not the same individuals.

That is what Jesus does for us. He, especially through his words, shows us the truth in life, truth that the devil tries so hard to manipulate, to distort, and to hide from us. Once we can see the truth and begin to live in this truth, our lives can never be the same, we are transformed.

There are many ways to experience Jesus, and the most powerful is right here at the Mass. We hear his words through the proclamation of the gospel, we see him in the representation of the priest, and we experience him in the gathering of his body - the assembly, but most of all in the physical consumption of his most holy body and blood. He who is everything now becomes a part of us. There is nothing in all of creation more holy than Jesus Christ, and through the Eucharist He becomes a part of us. What then does that make us…….

The man with the unclean spirit from the gospel today was in the synagogue, he must have been in search of help, some sort of insight, and healing, why else would he of been in such a place. His encounter with Jesus changed his life, freed him from the evil that possessed him, he was transformed forever.

Have you ever thought of what you are in search of?What evil do we have in our lives? Isn’t sin evil, are we not all sinners?
What part of us, or our lives are in need of healing?
Why are we here at mass today?

These are all good questions that we should ponder and ask of ourselves.

What about our lives during the week? Many can attend daily mass and physically experience Jesus each and everyday at the mass, but many cannot attend daily mass for a variety of reasons. How do those who cannot attend daily mass experience God’s word each and everyday?

How many of us own a bible, yet seldom or never open it. We know that Jesus taught with heavenly authority, that his words have power, and through his words there is healing, but do we actually take time to read his words. The Gospels not only document Jesus’ life here on earth, but contain his own words, the actual words of God. There is such truth in these words, they are as alive today as they were 2000 years ago, they apply to each and everyone of our lives, and if applied to our lives can give us such joy, peace, and freedom, that it is almost beyond our imagination. Yet, how many of us neglect to even read a paragraph a day. What is keeping us from reading and hearing the word of God? What could be more important than having a daily encounter with our Lord and Savior?

Can you imagine a life that began each day with opening your bible, reading a few words of the holy gospel, asking God to help you apply those words to your life, and then living in God’s truth.

Can you imagine beginning each day with God, hearing his words, and then carrying those words with you into the world?

How could such a daily encounter not shape and mold who you are.

To know Christ, is to spend time with Him. Do you care to know him……. Do you care to spend time with him……. Not just on Sundays, but everyday…..

His words have power, and through his words, there is healing.

His words have power, and through his words, there is healing.

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