Beads of Joy 01-31-11
Unclean Spirit Depart From Me
©2011 James Dacey, Jr. SFO
Let us look at a way Jesus wants to help free us. In today's gospel we will reflect on a man who was possessed by a demon. This demon had nothing but destruction in its plans for this man. Jesus asked the demon, "What is your name?", the demon responded, "My name is Legion; for we are many." Did you know that a "Legion" of demons, is one huge amount of demons in one place. A Legion is no less than an army of 6,000 demons. Today we are reading, Mark 5:1-20 (Jesus Heals the Gerasene Demoniac). How strong are you against the forces of evil inside you? You do know that the evil we can have inside us, don't necessarily have to be demons. We could have habits and desires that are immoral or sinful; and on these habits we may have many secrets and even a secret life. That is where I see we can reflect on today's gospel and maybe get a little bit of insight to help dismantle or discard this from our lives. This isn't going to be easy. But we must remember satan is deceitful and misleading, the true father of lies; this must be taken very seriously and it be consistent.
Sin makes us very shameful before God, and sadly, no matter how much we may hide or try to be secret with our sins, God knows all things. We very seriously need to keep that in mind, every single moment in our lives is known. Everything is recorded that we do, what we say for all ears to hear; even what which we say within our mind, that only our ears hear. God knows all things. Only through confession and repentance can we wash away our sins. We really need to be frequent visitors of that precious sacrament of penance. The cleaner and more pure we keep our lives and spirit before God the better our chances are to make it to Heaven. Today's reflection leads us to ponder thoughts about confession and removing that which offends God from our lives. For just a moment let us think about a few things we really need to do to make things right with God. Let us consider the very words we pray at the end of our confession:
Act of Contrition
O my God, I am heartily sorry for having offended Thee and I detest all my sins because of Thy just punishments, but most of all because they offend Thee, my God, who art all good and deserving of all my love. I firmly resolve, with the help of Thy grace, to sin no more and avoid the near occasions of sin. Amen.
With that in mind let us try to keep a clean life. No one is prefect, no life is perfect. With that being said, we know that no one person is so pure before God, we are all guilty of sin, and sinning. So what can we do to better deal with this horrible challenge we all face each day. Maybe lying is our hang up, maybe anger is an issue we just can't figure out how to down play when in our mind and heart wonder; some people deal with personal pride only concerned with themselves and everyone else is last, including God. There are so many issues that can drag down our spirit before God, and that easily can keep us in a sinful state.
This world offers so many ways for us to be distracted and led astray. Do not give into any of it. Do not be tricked into thinking you are so strong and powerful against sin that you can easily ride the edge of it and not fall into the pit. Only by God's grace can we defeat sin, only by His love are we forgiven. You know your sins better than anybody, but here's something scary to know; satan knows our weaknesses, and he sits and waits patiently. He don't sleep, he don't eat, he don't leave us; he waits for us to make the slightest flinch towards a temptation, then he reels us in as fast as he can. He justifies our bad choices, excusing them and keeps our heart thinking, I can always ask God for forgiveness, (arrogant presumption) so it's ok to sin this one time. Do not be fooled into this. Stay far far away from sin. I once shared this story earlier last year with how far away should we stay from sin. Here is another version of that story.
There was a trucking business who just bought a whole fleet of brand new trucks. They were hiring drivers to go up this mountain road with its loads. At the interview they found two people that qualified best for the position; the company only had one final question to ask each of them before they made their choice. This was the question: How close to the edge will you drive our brand new trucks without destroying them? The first driver said, "I will try to stay as far away as I can, and I will try not to get any closer than a few feet, the further away the better." The second driver said,"Ah come one, I am experienced, I have been doing this for years, I can come with inches of the edge and never ever have a worry in the world." Who did the company hire? The first driver. Why? He stay furthest away from the danger of destroying that which the company valued so much. The second driver was reckless and willing to take the risk. So must we, stay as far away from the edge as we possibly can.
"Jesus, I trust in You."
Your brother in Christ Jesus & His Most Blessed Mother,
Jim (The Rosary Man) Dacey Jr SFO
Today we pray the Joyful Mysteries
1. The Annunciation
2. The Visitation
3. The Birth of Jesus
4. The Presentation in The Temple
5. Finding of Jesus in the Temple