The Gospel Today
Thursday of the Third Week of Lent
Jesus was driving out a demon that was mute,
and when the demon had gone out,
the mute man spoke and the crowds were amazed.
Some of them said, “By the power of Beelzebul, the prince of demons,
he drives out demons.”
Others, to test him, asked him for a sign from heaven.
But he knew their thoughts and said to them,
“Every kingdom divided against itself will be laid waste
and house will fall against house.
And if Satan is divided against himself,
how will his kingdom stand?
For you say that it is by Beelzebul that I drive out demons.
If I, then, drive out demons by Beelzebul,
by whom do your own people drive them out?
Therefore they will be your judges.
But if it is by the finger of God that I drive out demons,
then the Kingdom of God has come upon you.
When a strong man fully armed guards his palace,
his possessions are safe.
But when one stronger than he attacks and overcomes him,
he takes away the armor on which he relied
and distributes the spoils.
Whoever is not with me is against me,
and whoever does not gather with me scatters.”
Reflection (Sem. John Paul Adia):
Whenever we look at a white paper with a dot at the center, what do we see? The paper or the small dot? This is a typical examination on how do we look at things. This is even applicable on how I judge people and even chances or situations. The greater view of optimism is too hidden in my eyes leading me to look at the pessimistic side. Yes, this is indeed my personal issue which is connected to my low self-esteem. I am even judging my own self whenever I feel that I am not enough, incompetent, and prone to mistakes. But for this kind of judgment where we can really notice a dot which represents a mistake, isn’t it that Jesus does not deserve any judgment because He does not have even a single dot of flaw or sin?
The devil that made the man in the gospel mute made me realize that I may be putting my security in my false silence. Therefore, this silence is not helping me to grow spiritually. And true enough that this is what is happening to me. I became too rigid and hesitant to open up. I thought that whenever I am too silent I can balance everything in my mind. But there are times that I am bothered by these thoughts even during meditation. I am burdened of those feelings and thoughts (like anger, disappointment, and fear) that I suppressed inside of me. I cannot cast out this “devil” in me if I will not allow Jesus to cure me and even if I do not have the willingness to be cured.
So far, my Reparenting the Child Within1 (RCW1) and Healing Attitude Loving Essence (HALE) experiences helped me not just to recognize these issues but also to have a plan in a more optimistic approach in facing any problem, stress or fear. Now, the challenge is left on my own hands to choose whether I want to free myself from these issues or remain with them in a uncertain span of time. I choose to resolve it now but there are “buts” shouting inside my mind. I want to appreciate myself more so that I can appreciate other people. I want to see the good in me and the potentials that I can explore. Definitely the fear is still heard but I am determined to develop myself to become a better seminarian but also a better person. To be with Jesus is to believe in His divine mercy with all my heart. Lord help me to give myself more to the formation where you have led me. Amen.