Fr. Mike’s Homily for Wednesday of the 22nd week in Ordinary Time Cycle I (1)

Fr. Mike’s Homily for Wednesday of the 22nd week in Ordinary Time Cycle I

Theme: The miracles of Jesus

By: Fr. Mike Lagrimas
St. Michael the Archangel Parish
Diocese of Novaliches


Homily for Wednesday September 1 2021

Lk 4:38-44

After Jesus left the synagogue, he entered the house of Simon. Simon’s mother-in-law was afflicted with a severe fever, and they interceded with him about her. He stood over her, rebuked the fever, and it left her. She got up immediately and waited on them.

At sunset, all who had people sick with various diseases brought them to him. He laid his hands on each of them and cured them. And demons also came out from many, shouting, “You are the Son of God.” But he rebuked them and did not allow them to speak because they knew that he was the Messiah.

At daybreak, Jesus left and went to a deserted place. The crowds went looking for him, and when they came to him, they tried to prevent him from leaving them. But he said to them, “To the other towns also I must proclaim the good news of the kingdom of God, because for this purpose I have been sent.” And he was preaching in the synagogues of Judea.

The Gospels are replete with the accounts of the miracles of Jesus. And one thing we notice is that after the miracle, Jesus exhorts the person concerned not to make known to others the whole event. In fact, even in the case of driving out demons, He even forbids them to speak the truth about Him: “But He rebuked them and did not allow them to speak because they knew that He was the Messiah.”

We may naturally wonder why Jesus does this. If the demons are speaking the truth, why stop them from doing so? Does He intend to stifle or hide the truth? By no means. Rather, He just does not want the demons to publicly and openly declare this truth. We can cite five reasons for this.

First, the demons are a big distraction to the pastoral activity of Jesus. He has to deal with them decisively and swiftly so that they are out of the scene right away. Letting them talk any longer can take the attention away from Him and His message.

Second, the demons speak using the voice of the possessed persons. They are stealing or robbing the victims of their speech faculty. Jesus cannot allow the devils to continue exploiting and abusing their victims. They have to be silenced the soonest.

Third, these evil spirits are so cunning and devious. They always twist the truth so masterfully, mixing it with half-truths and misleading statements. We can take as an example the conversation in the Garden of Eden between Eve and the Serpent. There is no such thing as pure truth with the devil; there must be some deception somewhere somehow.

Fourth, the devils’ public declaration of the Messiahship of Jesus is too premature. It must be noted that the title ‘Messiah’ has strong political connotation and serious implications. On many occasions, Jesus talks about the ‘hour’ (kairos). That is why there are ‘messianic secrets’ that He closely keeps, for His ‘hour has not yet come’. Revealing these prematurely can seriously derail His mission. In the Gospel account two days ago, for example, Jesus publicly declared that Isaiah’s prophecy about the coming Messiah is fulfilled in His person. That declaration enraged His listeners and almost killed Him (Lk 4:29). On the other hand, many people wanted Him to be their king, especially after the miracles of the loaves (Jn 6:15). In both cases, the mission of Jesus is put in serious jeopardy.

And finally, even if the devils are declaring the truth that Jesus is the Son of God, this should not come from them. Allowing them to speak about this is tantamount to a public endorsement by them. Obviously, this does not in any way help safeguard and improve the reputation of Jesus. Instead, He can be perceived as being in collusion with the devils. And that actually happened. At some point, the crowds accused Him: “Some of them said, ‘By the power of Beelzebul, the prince of demons, he drives out demons’” (Lk 11:15).

All throughout His public ministry, Jesus encountered a lot of evil spirits, and His reaction is swift and consistent. He invariably drives them all away with just a word of command. There can be no compromises with them whatsoever. Jesus is the Light. He always drives out darkness. It is His mission to liberate people from the bondage and dominion of the Evil One.

As Christians, we have to follow the example of the Lord. We must always remind ourselves of our baptismal promise to reject sin, Satan, his works and his empty promises. There cannot be any compromise with the devil. In this great spiritual warfare, there is no middle ground: “Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters” (Mt 12:30).

Fr. Mike Lagrimas
St. Michael the Archangel Parish
Diocese of Novaliches

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