YEAR C: HOMILY/REFLECTION FOR THE 28TH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
TOPIC: PROTECTION FROM EVIL
BY: Fr. Mike Lagrimas
Gospel: Lk 17:11-19 – Cleansing of Ten Lepers
Message # 326: “Anchor of Salvation”
(TO THE PRIESTS, Our Lady’s Beloved Sons, Marian Movement of Priests)
- Background Information:
a) Notion of EVIL: it is privation. It is the absence of a good that is supposed to be there.
b) The Blessed Mother mentions 3 kinds of evil: moral, physical and social. Moral evil is sin or evil in the spiritual order (letter c). Physical or natural evil, or evil in the physical order are sickness, bodily deformities, and natural calamities (letter d). Social evil or evils of a social order are poverty, slavery, injustice, war and others (letter e).
c) God cannot be the source of evil. Physical or natural evil or evil in nature is due to the imperfection and weakness of the created world. We get sick, as well as there are calamities. Moral evil (sin) and social evil (institutionalized evil like poverty, corruption and injustice) are caused by man’s selfishness. But God allows evil to take place because He respects man’s freedom. And out of this evil, something good can still come out because nothing is impossible with God. As we always say, “God can write straight with crooked lines.”
- Warnings against Evil:
a) The devil is real. He is seriously bent in tempting and misleading people.
b) Evil will surely lead us to hell. There is hell.
c) The devil is very clever, for he is the father of lies and greatest impostor. He can use all means to mislead people. (example: “new age rosaries, false picture of Jesus, errors being spread even by priests, legalization of abortion, divorce, same sex marriage, death penalty and euthanasia, etc.) He deceives people by presenting himself as attractive and alluring, making use of money, wealth, power, fame and glory as his most potent weapons of enticing and leading people to sin and damnation. We must especially be very careful of modern mass media – TV, movies, radio, internet and the like – because the devil uses these for his purpose.
d) Physical and social evil do not lead us to hell. But the devil can use physical and social evil so that people will commit sin. In that way people will be led into hell. (For example, due to poverty, people steal or sell drugs; due to injustice, people kill the oppressors; due to sickness, people believe in faith healers and superstitions.) There is a need to be vigilant and careful always. If we take care of our bodies, we should all the more take care of our souls.
- The Good News for us: there is protection from all evils. Mary invites us to place ourselves under shelter in the safe refuge of her Immaculate Heart (letter f). Mary is the woman whom God uses to conquer the devil. In first book of the bible, Genesis, she is “Guadalupe” (“she who crushes the head” of the serpent). In the last book, Revelation, she is the “Woman clothed in the Sun” who will give the final blow of defeat on Satan and his cohorts. If we consecrate ourselves to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, There is no need to be afraid. The Immaculate Heart of Mary will triumph in the hearts of her faithful children. Let us just be careful and vigilant in order not to fall into the trap of the devil.
- Relation to the Sunday Gospel.
a) The Gospel gives us an example of physical evil: leprosy, a sickness afflicting the body. This is not a simple healing. A person with leprosy is considered dead in society. Restoring back the health of a leper meant not only healing, but new life. That is what Jesus is ready to give to us: not only healing but new life and salvation.
b) This leads us to the core message of the Sunday Gospel: thanksgiving. Ten lepers were healed. But not all were saved. Only one was saved: the one who came back to thank God through Jesus. A grateful heart is always humble for it knows how to acknowledge the source of blessing: GOD. A person who acknowledges God’s love and power in his life attains salvation. An ungrateful person, who does not acknowledge God’s blessings, is far from salvation.
c) Let us learn to count our blessings. We usually think only of material blessings. Actually, there are many other blessings. Most of these are spiritual blessings which are priceless, and which money cannot buy. Many more blessings are in disguise. Still more blessings are enjoyed by us everyday but which we take for granted: the sun, the air we breathe, the beating of our heart, a sound sleep, etc.
d) Let us not be envious of the blessings of others. If we look at others, either we become envious (when we see they have more than we have), or we become proud and arrogant (when we have more than they have). Instead, let us look at ourselves and count our blessings. We are blessed more than we ever imagine. If we look back at our lives, we will discover that even the bad things that came our way were converted by the Lord into blessings. That is why we always have reasons to be thankful to God at every moment of our lives. In fact, God can even make use of the devil to help us.
Song: “THANK YOU, LORD!”
QUESTIONS FOR SHARING IN THE B.E.C.
- Kahit kapos tayo sa salapi, mayroon pa rin tayong dapat na ipinagpapasalamat sa Diyos. Anu-ano ang mga biyayang ito?
- Anu-ano ang mga panlilinlang na ginagawa ng demonyo upang ibulid ang tao sa kasalanan at kasamaan?
- Ano ang ating mga sandata laban sa demonyo upang hindi tayo mahulog sa kasalanan at mga maling aral?