This photo was taken from the back of Celebrity Century overlooking Caribbean waters
January 2009

A young couple invited their elderly pastor for Sunday dinner. While they were in the kitchen preparing the meal, the priest asked their son what they were having. "Goat," the little boy replied. "Goat?" replied the startled man of the cloth, "Are you sure about that?" "Yep," said the youngster. "I heard Dad say to Mom, 'Today is just as good as any to have the old goat for dinner.'"

Words have a certain power to it that is why it is important that we understand what we say to one another. Words are useless if there is no communication and comprehension. We use words to convey what we feel, what we want and what we believe. Words need to have some basis and foundation. This is when what we do and how we do things can be of great help because words are essentially based on reality.

Jesus is the Eternal Word. His word is the truth. He is the truth. This is the authority he used to drive out false and erroneous teachings. This is the authority he applied in confronting the evil spirit in today’s gospel. Before Jesus who is the truth, lies have no meaning and power.

We are all familiar with lies. Somehow at one point in our lives, we have lied. We have heard these lies before: a) You made it yourself? I would have never guessed, b) Go ahead and tell me, I won't tell another soul, c) The doctor will call you right back, d) You don't look a day over 50, e) Put the map away. I know where we're at and f) Having a great time. Wish you were here.

As it was 2000 years ago, the battle between good and evil, heaven and hell, truth and falsehood is every bit as real today. Sin and evil is present in human history and in our times. Just by reading the daily newspaper or watching the evening newscast, we know the reality and ugliness of sin and evil. There is a liar out there. His name is Satan, the devil. He is a deceiver.

There is a story about a police officer who pulls over a speeding car. The officer says, ' I clocked you at 80 miles per hour, sir.' The driver says, 'Gee, officer I had it on cruise control at 60, perhaps your radar gun needs calibrating.'

Not looking up from what she was doing the wife says: 'Now don't be silly dear, you know that this car doesn't have cruise control.' As the officer writes out the ticket, the driver looks over at his wife and growls, 'Can't you please keep your mouth shut for once?'

The wife smiles and says, 'You should be thankful your radar detector went off when it did.' As the officer makes out the second ticket for the illegal radar detector unit, the man glowers at his wife and says through clenched teeth, 'Darn it, woman, can't you keep your mouth shut?'

The officer frowns and says, 'And I notice that you're not wearing your seat belt, sir. That's an automatic $75 fine.' The driver says, 'Yeah, well, you see officer, I had it on, but took it off when you pulled me over so that I could get my license out of my back pocket.'

The wife says, 'Now, dear, you know very well that you didn't have your seat belt on. You never wear your seat belt when you're driving.' And as the police officer is writing out the third ticket the driver turns to his wife and barks, 'WHY DON'T YOU PLEASE SHUT UP??'

The officer looks over at the woman and asks, 'Does your husband always talk to you this way, Ma'am?' 'Only when he's been drinking.”

Nobody can hide from the truth. There is no secret that remains quite a secret for all ages. The truth eventually prevails. Thus, there is truth in the teachings of the Catholic Church. There is truth in what the Church asks and demands us to do and observe. There is truth in the Ten Commandments and the Lord’s two greatest commandments. Deviating from the truth will lead us to darkness and will encage us in the dark and dingy prison of our lives.

Only the truth can set us free. For as long as we are bounded by lies, we would never be free. For as long as we are held by error and deceive ourselves, we would never be free. And for as long as we deny the truth, we can never be free.

Jesus was able to free the evil spirit from the man who was possessed by it because he knows and he can see who are in the dark. This is a lesson for us all. If we turn away from Jesus, who is the truth and the light, our shadow will always be in front of us. We will never be free from the shadows drawn by our mistakes in the past, by our denial of the present and by our anxieties about the future.

But if we turn towards Jesus, if we face him who has the light, then our shadows would be behind us. There will be no room then for fearing evil. There is no space then for the shame of sin. When we face Jesus, the power and authority dwelling in the truth of his being God will light up our souls and enflame our spirits. He is the God of the light. His words have power and meaning over evil and darkness for He is the Word of Life.

1 February 2009

1 comment:

Paul said...

I appreciate this photo. Where you the one who took it Father?... If so, hhmm, you're also becoming a photog... Great! Keep it up!... Of course, I appreciate every refelection here!... Walang kakupas-kupas...Idol!...:-)