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Homily (Reflection) for the Fourth Sunday of the Year (B) (28th January, 2018) on the Gospel

Deut 18:15-20;
Ps 94:1-2.6-9 (R. v. 9);
1Cor 7:32-35;
Mk 1:21-28.

A man had a visitor whom he did not want to receive. He was able to see his “unwanted” visitor when he was still at the gate with the help of the Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) cameras. He immediately instructed his 5 years old daughter thus: “Mummy, I do not want to see that man at the gate. So if he asks of me tell him that I am not around”. After the instruction the man went into his bedroom.
Shortly, the “unwanted” visitor came in and saw the little girl and asked her: “My dear, is your daddy at home?” “He told me to tell you that he is not around” replied the little girl. The visitor taken aback asked further: “Why did he tell you that?” “He said that he does not want to see you” replied the little girl. “Why didn’t he want to see me? asked the visitor. “Mmmm!” hummed the little girl before saying: “I do not know. Please, wait let me go and find out from him”.
Topic: God or the Devil.
The first verse of the gospel according to Saint John reads: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” (Jn 1:1). It further reads: “...the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, full of grace and truth; we have beheld his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father” (Jn 1:14). And those to whom this Word is sent are gods, cf. Ps 82:6; Jn 10:35.
The bible tells us that Jesus is the light of the world (Jn 8:12). And “This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light and in him is no darkness at all” (1Jn 1:5). The coming of Jesus into the world is to make the people who sat in darkness to see a great light, and for those who sat in the region and shadow of death the dawn of light, cf. Matt 4:16; Is 9:2). Writing to the Colossians Saint Paul writes: “He has delivered us from the dominion of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son” (Col 1:13). Again in his first letter to the Thessalonians we also read: “For you are all sons of light and sons of the day; we are not of the night or of darkness” (1Thess 5:5). Saint Peter reiterated the same point in these words: “But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God's own people, that you may declare the wonderful deeds of him who called you out of darkness into his marvellous light” (1Pt 2:9).
Again, in the Acts of the Apostles Saint Paul tells us of the mission he received at his conversion in these words:
I am sending you to open their eyes, that they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me (Acts 26:17-18).
And from the beginning God separated light from darkness, cf. Gen 1:4. Just like light and darkness cannot be together, God (light) and devil (darkness) cannot cohabit. Hence in the gospel, Jesus met a man with an unclean spirit in the synagogue where he taught. And the unclean spirit cried out: “What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are, the Holy One of God” (Mk 1:24). That unclean spirit knew too well that he has nothing in common with Jesus. Hence Saint Paul queried “what fellowship has light with darkness?” 2Cor 6:14. The presence of darkness is a testimony to the absence of light.
Jesus admonished us thus: “While you have the light, believe in the light, that you may become sons of light” (Jn 12:36). And to Nicodemus He said, “And this is the judgment, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil” (Jn 3:19). As Christians can it be truly said that we are sons and daughters of light? Jesus came into the world, that whoever believes in him may not remain in darkness, cf. Jn 12:46. It is time for us to “cast off the works of darkness and put on the armour of light” (Rom 13:12). Saint Paul further admonished us “Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them” (Eph 5:11). We must walk as children of light, cf. Eph 5:8. It is important to note also that “If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not live according to the truth” (1Jn 1:6).
In conclusion, if we are not for God we are against him, cf. Lk 11:23; Matt 12:30. One must either be for God or for devil because “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon” (Matt 6:24; cf. Lk 16:13). If we are for God we must therefore submit ourselves to God and resist the devil so that he will flee from us, cf. Jas 4:7. However, everyone is very free to choose whom he or she wants to serve, cf. Josh 24:15.
Bible Reading: Jn 8:12; Rom 13:11-14; 1Jn 1:5-10; Is 42:1-9.
Silent Moment: Who are you for – God or devil?
Let us Pray: Lord, as I freely and wholly declare for you and you alone, give me all the graces that will enable me to be for you alone all the days of my life – Amen.
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