29 August, Monday
Readings: 1 Cor 2:1-5; Mk 6:17-29
Memoria: The Martyrdom of St. John the Baptist
We often forget and ignore the reality that sin causes death. The death of John the Baptist is the result of the sins of many people. If sin is allowed to live and grow with all its power of destruction and spiritual devastation, the death continues to reign in the world becoming more and more powerful with its harmful effects. Today, we make many laws to hinder death but we do not attempt to make laws to prevent sin from the world.
John the Baptist points out the sins of the rulers without fear. The rulers and the leaders are called to set an example for others. This pointing of sin of Herod by John remained as a hate and vengeance in the heart of a woman; as a result she wished the death and elimination of God’s prophet. John sacrificed his life for the truth. His life teaches us today to be faithful and truthful in our lives. There are many among us who are killed for the sake of the Gospel. Am I ready to stand for the truth and Gospel even to the point of sacrificing life?
30 August, Tuesday
Readings: 1 Cor 2:10-16; Lk 4:31-37
Before beginning his mission, Jesus was led by the spirit in the wilderness where he had fight with Satan, the tempter, who wanted his spiritual destruction. Satan does not tolerate that a single man lives by the word of God and lives the will of God. Jesus was tempted by the Satan but did not fall into it. After this fight, he comes to Galilee and to a synagogue in Capernaum, a town near the lake of Galilee, where he had another fight against Satan who had taken possession of a man. Satan tries to obstruct the mission of Jesus, but Jesus refuses to be controlled by Satan. Jesus orders the Satan to be silent and come out of the man. Jesus can cast away the Satan imprisoned in our bodies, but the Satan in our thoughts and wills, then it is upto us to overcome, of course with the strength and the power of the Word of God. The word of Jesus is powerful; with his strong word, he can cast out the unclean spirit. This incident fulfils the mission of Jesus that he proclaimed: set free those who are oppressed of any kind, those who are in bondage of Satan.
If Jesus was tempted, so also we as his disciples; the whole church is at the risk of temptation. Jesus first proclaims the Word of God and then brings healing. Let us trust and believe in the powerful word of Jesus.
31 August, Wednesday
Readings: 1 Cor 3:1-9; Lk 4:38-44
‘After Jesus left the synagogue, he entered Simon’s house; Simon’s mother-in-law was suffering from high fever. Jesus stood over her and rebuked the fever, and it left her. Immediately she got up and began to serve them’. We do not find any physical contact with that woman, but it is again the power of the Word of Jesus that heals her. It is interesting note here that the woman did not ask Jesus for help, but the others on behalf of her. We need to intercede and pray for others. And the woman’s response is to be noted! She immediately responder to serve Jesus and others; the greatest motivation of Christian service is gratitude.
Jesus gave his time and energy for others; each and every single person is important for him and he was meeting their needs. The presence of Jesus is not limited to the Churches alone. He is present everywhere and comes anywhere to heal us. Let us trust Him! Do I give time for others, especially those sick? Do I pray for others?