Throughout both the Old and New Testament we witness cries for love and healing. God continually delivers a very important message to us through his prophets, followers and through his Son. The message is rather clear – bad things will happen on this planet and people will continue to need healing and comfort. Most of all, God is always with us offering the healing we need. We are promised that God will indeed set everything right at the appointed time. Eventually there will be no more pain or heartache on earth. Rather, hearts will rest in the peace of Christ.
Finding the path of love through suffering will bring us into the peace we seek. Think for a moment what the world would look like if love ceased to exist… Fortunately for us this is impossible because that would mean that God ceased to exist. Love is the glue that holds the universe together and without it we would be immediately annihilated. Yet, love is under attack and the Evil One seeks to destroy love. He attacks love through human suffering. This has been his game ever since the Fall.
Evil (Satan and his demons) rejected God and failed to surrender to divine humility. As a result evil now roams the earth seeking the ruin of God’s children. Mind you, they roam the earth illegally – after all this IS God’s earth. The one thing evil cannot tolerate is love. However, since love is the glue of the universe it cannot be undone. Love holds everything together. All evil can do is try to weaken the glue of love. In the end such efforts will prove fruitless. The battle is already won – victory was revealed on the Cross. The day of the Lord is promised.
Apocalyptic Eschatology (Revelation)
Have you ever wondered why there is so much reference to the End Times in Sacred Scripture? In both the Old and New Testament we read of God speaking through his messengers. He consistently reveals to us a bit of his supernatural world. God is pretty clear about what things will look like at the end of time and sometimes it looks a bit scary! In our first reading Joel paints a rather vivid picture. So why is this thread, Revelation, woven through scripture?
I believe our concept of time plays a part here. Time, as humans experience it on earth, does not exist in heaven. Heaven is eternal and time operates significantly different there. However, God’s message of Revelation is eternal and therefore it must be given to humanity so that each person may have knowledge of it. After all, earth operates within “time” and through time we have the opportunity to grow closer to God.
Perhaps the urgency such Scripture offers affords us a space to bring forth greater love into our lives? What would the world look like if all followers of Jesus (all Christians) suddenly surrendered to love and fully loved all human beings? Love would indeed trump evil and the day of darkness and gloom would be no more – only rejoicing and love would exist. And all who suffer across the world, including those who do not know Christ, would run to Christianity for healing. But alas, we are not there … yet.
Jesus’ Authority Over Evil
Today’s Gospel reveals the power Jesus holds over evil. This power is the glue of God’s universe. It heals our pain while it conquers evil. Today Jesus revealed himself – he is indeed the source of life who has the power to drive out evil. The power that drives out evil is God’s unifying force in the universe and it is what evil cannot stand – it is love.
As we walk through life we will be tempted by evil, yet, we must always remember that the One who dwells within us has greater power than the one who is in the world (Satan). Hard times are going to happen to each and every one of us – even God’s own Son suffered. Through our hard times we can surrender to God and allow him to heal us. When we choose anything other than love we fight the fabric of God’s universe. This is a futile battle.
We all need to clean our “house” (our thoughts, actions, and our heart) because we all fall short of perfect holiness. I can only suppose that the individual Jesus spoke of in today’s Gospel, the one who swept his house clean only to experience seven more wicked spirits, suffered before he did his house cleaning. In an attempt to become free of suffering perhaps he became a good citizen and a good neighbor. However, if he didn’t accomplish this with love then the door opened for seven more wicked spirits to enter in. Love is what makes Christians special – we are called to do good out of love for one another not out of need to be a good citizen or neighbor. When we become good citizens out of love for one another there is no longer room for wicked spirits in us.
The Value of Suffering
Perhaps you have heard the term “Offer it up” – common Catholic speak! However, how does it help to “offer it up” when you hurt? After all, when we hurt we sometimes want to crawl up in a ball and hide – or maybe we want to lash out in anger or revenge. All such responses serve to limit our happiness. Well, if happiness, peace, and joy have value in our lives, then suffering must also have value. When we offer our pain to God we give him authority over it and he will then, in turn, use it for our good.
Offering our pain to God is the first step towards healing. When we offer our pain to God we allow him to carry us and heal the broken pieces of ourselves. We will more fully unify with God as a result. This unity is done through Jesus Christ. As humanity more fully unifies with God worldwide pain and heartache will diminish. Love then ushers in and becomes the victor. Then we will fully live!
Our Lady of Fatima
On this 100th anniversary of the miracles and apparitions in Fatima lets reach out to our Blessed Mother for help! She understands our human heart and its desire for healing and love. She will guide us through her Son towards God with a loving, kind, and firm mothers heart. Our Lady of Fatima – assist us and guide us to your Son.
I Am Love Meditation
God’s children are still suffering and there is only one way to escape our pain – through his Son. I have a favorite little (and very effective) meditation that I believe you will like. Here is the link: I AM Love
God bless all of you – see you next week Friday! – Carolyn
Sacred Heart of Jesus – have mercy on us.
Father God – consume us.
Holy Spirit – enter into us.
Our Lady of Fatima – pray for us.