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Spiritual Reflection – 5th Sunday Ordinary Time (B)

Mark gives us a picture of Jesus’ activities at the start of his public ministry. We can see how his sphere of action expands: after healing Peter’s mother-in-law, he heals all those who come to the house, and then goes through the whole of Galilee.

We can now see how Jesus is unwilling to turn away any who come to him for help. He spends time in prayer, but this leads him to more action, and an eagerness to reach more people, both to preach and to heal.

In all his works, Jesus reveals the coming of the kingdom of God. His miracles, healing sickness and casting our demons, reveal God’s power and how that evil is defeated. Jesus performs these miracles not only to help the individuals concerned, but to show that he is victorious over the devil. His exorcisms anticipate the victory over the ruler of this world achieved by his death and resurrection. ‘Now is the judgement of this world, now shall the ruler of this world be cast our; and I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to myself.’

The victory of Jesus over evil is one in which we can share today. We all face a spiritual battle in our daily lives, and it is important for us to remain aware of this, to turn to the Holy Spirit for guidance and strength. Many forms of evil in the world are obvious: wars, genocide, oppression, and torture. But we are also assailed by more subtle evils: temptations to idolatry, superstitions, and false philosophies of this world. In our secular society there are many voices drawing us away from God, some obviously but some in a more insidious way that can delude us. This is why we need to spend time in prayer every day and fill our minds with the truths of the Gospel. We hold fast to an invincible hope, that Satan is already conquered by Christ’s victory over evil every day if we turn to him, and we can rejoice that at the end of time the devil and his helpers will be vanquished once and for all.

‘Lord Jesus, deliver us from all evil, and grant us the wisdom to cling to the truth of the gospel, so that we may share in your victory over Satan and all his works.’

 

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