Intention: For persons living in places of crime and violence, that through the world’s efforts, safety and peace and new promise for their futures will come to them.
Today’s Gospel | Luke 11:15-26
When Jesus had driven out a demon, some of the crowd 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.
“When an unclean spirit goes out of someone, it roams arid regions searching for rest but, finding none, says, ‘I shall return to my home from which I came.’ But upon returning, it finds it swept clean and put in order. Then it goes and brings seven other spirits more wicked than itself who move in and dwell there, and the last condition of that man is worse than the first.”
From the Fourth Meditation for the Time of Retreat | Saint John Baptist de La Salle
Be convinced of what Saint Paul says, that you plant and water the seed, but it is God through Jesus Christ who makes it grow and brings your work to fulfillment. So when it happens that you encounter some difficulty in the guidance of your disciples, when there are some who do not profit from your instructions and you observe a certain spirit of immorality in them, turn to God with confidence. Very insistently ask Jesus Christ to make his Spirit come alive in you, for he has chosen you to do his work.
Consider Jesus Christ as the Good Shepherd of the Gospel, who seeks the lost sheep, puts it on his shoulders, and carries it back to restore it to the fold. Because you are taking his place, consider that you are obliged to do the same thing. Ask him for the grace needed to procure the conversion of hearts.
Eternal Father, you created us to strive for holiness and to serve others. If we are oblivious to the opportunities you give us today because we are worrying about ourselves and toiling for what does not last, awaken us to your presence. Inspire all minds, that we may choose live more responsibly. Inspire our hearts, that we may choose to live more compassionately. Make of us instruments of your justice and peace. We ask this of you who lives and reigns with your Son and the Holy Spirit, one God forever and ever. Amen.