Yesterday, I had the opportunity to attend Mass at the beautiful Church of Divine Mercy after an afternoon family gathering. It was my first time at the church and I sensed the mercy of Jesus as the church was dedicated to Divine Mercy and my family always pray the chaplet of Divine Mercy at 3pm in the afternoon whenever we can.
The gospel of the week speaks about Jesus’ teachings and his ability to cast out the unclean spirit that had manifested in the man at the synagogue. When Jesus managed to cast the spirit out, the crowd were amazed and asked each other, “What is this? A new teaching with authority. He commands even the uneven spirits and they obey him.” (Mark 1:21-28).
Jesus has a great amount of authority and charisma as he is the Redeemer of the world where even men and evil spirits listen to his words. We should listen to what Jesus has to offer us through the Word of God and to acknowledge that we need Jesus in our lives. It is similar to that of the people who were astonished by Jesus’ teachings as he spoke the truth to them which made them see the need to have faith to overcome the unclean spirits in their own lives.
This week during the Catholic Society session, we had the privilege to have the School of Witness (SOW) and Office for Young People (OYP) share their own personal testimonials, how Jesus has touched them and transformed them into new beings. They also engaged us in a praying-over session which helped me to focus on Jesus again as I tend to lose sight of him from time to time. All have their own unclean spirits (demons) in them which can be hard to overcome and sometimes, we need to find the courage to acknowledge these demons to be delivered and healed through the power of Jesus.
I always tried to run away from my sins but soon they catch up with me in the end. The session helped me to always know that Jesus is enough for me and I am worthy of his mercy and love. He is proud of me when others think otherwise and he will walk me out of the darkness to the light, which is the eternal home, heaven. Jesus picks up the brokenness, the damages, the hurt and pain to make us whole again and to rebuke these demons for us.
It is a constant struggle against these unclean spirits which can be in the form of sin, temptation, addictions and habits that we have grown so used to that they destroy our lives. They are akin to parasites that feed off us and distract us from the Word of God. It is through listening to the Word of God which is the truth that we will be set free. It may take time, lots of courage and prayer to be set free from our demons but it is worth it as we will be liberated from them.
I saw this passage in the beautifully designed parish bulletin of the Church of Divine Mercy which I would like to share. It is entitled “The Need for Courage”. Several years ago when Richard Cushing was the Cardinal of New York, he wrote about the church’s need for courage. He said:
“If all the sleeping folks will wake up, and all the lukewarm folks will fire up, and all the disgruntled folks will sweeten up, and all the discouraged folks will cheer up, and all the depressed folks will look up, and all the estranged folks will make up, and all the gossiping folks will shut up, and all the dry bones will shake up, and all the true soldiers will stand up, and all the church members will pray up, and if the Savior of all will be lifted up… then we can have the greatest renewal this world has ever known.”
Nobody said beating those demons was easy but with the right attitude and mindset of centering our lives around Jesus, we will not be alone in this fight and we will experience the saving love and mercy to deliver us from all evil now and at the hour of our death. In the words of Pope Francis, “Let us know that we have a Mother, Mary and a great brother, Jesus. We are not alone.”
God Bless! and do keep praying that people will set their eyes on the Word of God and may they be open to receiving the healing that Jesus has promised to those that seek and need him.
Written By: Darren Chan Keng Leong