The following reflection is courtesy of Don Schwager (c) 2015, whose website is located at DailyScripture.net
What is the best protection which brings lasting security to our lives? Scripture tells us that true peace and security come to those who trust in God and obey his word. “Obey my voice and walk in all the way that I command you, that it may be well with you” (Jeremiah 7:23). The struggle between choosing to do good or evil, yielding to my will or God’s will, God’s way or my way, cannot be won by human strength or will-power alone. Our enemy, the devil, conspires with the world and our flesh, to lead us into hurtful and sinful desires.
Peter the Apostles tells us, Our adversary, the devil prowls the earth seeking the ruin of souls (1 Peter 5:8-9). God offers us grace and protection if we are willing to obey his word and resist the devil. Because you have made the Lord your refuge, the Most High your habitation, no evil shall befall you, no scourge come near your tent. For he will give his angels charge of you to guard you in all your ways (Psalm 91:9-11)
Jesus’ numerous exorcisms brought freedom to many who were troubled and oppressed by the work of evil spirits. Jesus himself encountered personal opposition and battled with Satan when he was put to the test in the wilderness just before his public ministry. He overcame the evil one through his obedience to the will of his Father. Some of the Jewish leaders reacted vehemently to Jesus’ healings and exorcisms and they opposed him with malicious slander. How could he get the power and authority to release individuals from Satan’s power? They assumed that he had to be in league with Satan. They attributed his power to Satan rather than to God.
Jesus answers their charge with two arguments. There were many exorcists in Palestine in Jesus’ time. So Jesus retorted by saying that they also incriminate their own kin who cast out demons. If they condemn Jesus they also condemn themselves. In his second argument he asserts that no kingdom divided against itself can survive for long? We have witnessed enough civil wars in our own time to prove the destructive force at work here for the annihilation of whole peoples and their land. If Satan lends his power against his own forces then he is finished. How can a strong person be defeated except by someone who is stronger? Jesus asserted his power and authority to cast out demons as a clear demonstration of the reign of God.
Jesus’ reference to the finger of Godpoints back to Moses’ confrontation with Pharoah and his magicians who represented Satan and the kingdom of darkness (see Exodus 8:19). Jesus claims to be carrying on the tradition of Moses whose miracles freed the Israelites from bondage by the finger of God. God’s power is clearly at work in the exorcisms which Jesus performed and they give evidence that God’s kingdom has come.
Is Jesus the Master of your life?
Jesus makes it clear that there are no neutral parties. We are either for Jesus or against him, for the kingdom of God or against it. There are two kingdoms in opposition to one another – the kingdom of God and the kingdom of darkness under the rule of Satan. If we disobey Gods word, we open to door to the power of sin and Satan in our lives. If you want to live in freedom from sin and Satan, then your house – your life and all you possess – must be occupied by Jesus where he is enthroned as Lord and Savior. Is the Lord Jesus the Master of your home, heart, mind, and will?
“O Lord, our God, grant us, we beseech you, patience in troubles, humility in comforts, constancy in temptations, and victory over all our spiritual foes. Grant us sorrow for our sins, thankfulness for your benefits, fear of your judgment, love of your mercies, and mindfulness of your presence; now and for ever.” (Prayer by John Cosin)
The following reflection is courtesy of PresentationMinistries.com (c) 2015. Their website is located at PresentationMinistries.com
ARE YOU HARDLY PRAYING THIS LENT?
“O, that today you would hear His voice: ‘Harden not your heart.’ ” Psalm 95:7-8
There’s a lot of attention these days on hardening of the arteries, arteriosclerosis. The arteries clog and harden to the point where the flow of blood can be almost completely blocked. This can lead to sudden death. In a similar way, a hard heart, stiff neck, and turned back lead to spiritual death.
That’s why we bend our knees in worship and bow our heads in prayer. That’s one side effect of the various patterns of standing, sitting, kneeling, processing up to Communion and back, and so on during each Mass. We are constantly moving, which is an aid to preventing a stiff posture before the Lord. Yes, our hearts can still be hard, twisted, tortuous, and self-deceived even at Mass (see Jer 17:9). Yet at Mass we are in the Real Presence of the beating heart of Jesus in His eucharistic glory.
I challenge you during the rest of this Lent to try your best to attend Mass daily or as often as possible. If this is not possible, then increase your daily prayer time and try to pray on your knees or bowed down before the Lord. This is a way of humbling ourselves in the sight of the Lord (see Lk 18:9-14; 1 Pt 5:6).
Jesus, meek and humble of heart, make our hearts like Yours.
Prayer: “Change my heart, O God. Make it ever true.” Promise: “He who is not with Me is against Me, and he who does not gather with Me scatters.” Lk 11:23 Praise: Jan received a healing when praying: “Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.” (This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)
(Pray about ordering any or all of these audio or video tapes: Ignorance of Scriptures is Ignorance of Christ, AV 82-1, V-82, How to Pray the Bible on audio AV 82-3 or on video V-82, How to Read the Bible on audio AV 46-3 or on video V-46, Principles of Bible Interpretation, audio AV 79-1, video V-79, Biblical Counseling, audio AV 13A-1, AV 13A-3, AV 13B-3 or on video starting with V-13A.)
Rescript: In accord with the Code of Canon Law, I hereby grant my permission to publish One Bread, One Body covering the period from February 1, 2015 through March 31, 2015.
Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, August 25, 2014.
The rescript is a declaration that a book or pamphlet is considered to be free of doctrinal or moral error. It is not implied that those who have granted ecclesial permission agree with the contents, opinions, or statements