Wisdom 12:13,16-19; Psalm 86:5-6, 9-10, 15-16; Romans 8:26-27; Matthew 13:24-30
I am writing this on July 18, which is the day of my priestly ordination forty-four years ago. As I have reflected on these readings over the years, many insights come. As we read the four gospels we see many layers of people around Jesus during his public ministry. At Pentecost in the Upper Room there were 120 of Jesus’ closest followers, apostles and male and female disciples. Jesus explained the meaning of the parables and empowered those men and women to go into the whole world announcing his good news of his kingdom.
We can look at Psalm 86, Romans 8 and the wheat/weeds parable from the Gospel today. If God is so good and in control of the world in that psalm, why has there been such an explosion of wars and evils in the last 100 years? We can go back to the gospel wheat story. God planted good seed in his world. God’s enemy has been sowing weeds throughout human history, as we know it. Do we have to wait until the end of the world and the final judgment before we get rid of at least some of the weeds? I don’t think so.
Several years ago there was a really funny movie, Ghost Busters. Several guys went around in a white Cadillac with their "hot shot back packs" to get ghosts and demons out of peoples houses. It really was funny, especially for a priest who has been dealing with things like that. What can we do? Since we are dealing with the spirit world we can use the many spiritual tools Jesus gave us as baptized members of his kingdom. St. Mark 16:15-18 tells us,
"Go into the whole world and proclaim the good news to all creation…. Signs like these will accompany those who have professed their faith: they will use my Name to expel demons, they will speak entirely new languages… and the sick upon whom they lay their hands will recover."
And St. Matthew 10:6-8, says,
"Go instead after the lost sheep of the house of Israel. As you go, make this announcement: ‘The reign of God is at hand!’ Cure the sick, raise the dead, heal the leprous and expel demons. The gift you have received, give as gift."
Jesus gave us instructions and power at various levels of authority. There are two deliverance from evil prayers prayed at every Mass every day all over the world, the Our Father and the prayer right after it. We bind evil. Jesus lives forever in heaven to make intercession for us, Hebrews 7:25. The Holy Spirit prays for us to Our Father, Romans 8 today. Mary, the mother of Jesus, helped the earliest church to grow and she is still helping and praying for us. So we join our prayers with theirs to stand against "the weeds" of our day. Then we have that wonderful prayer to St. Michael the Archangel.
Jesus says, be not afraid, stand with your heavenly armies of prayer and stand tall and confident against all the countless weeds that the evil ones throw at us. In the morning before we go out into the world we can bathe ourselves with the forgiving waters of Jesus. We put on our spiritual clothes; a shirt of chastity and pants of purity according to our state of life and then our belt has something to hold up. Then put on the rest of your spiritual armor, Ephesians 6:10-2.
If we can get to Mass more frequently, we get our spiritual gas (graces) and our batteries charged. We might say the Chaplet of Divine Mercy, the rosary, and the St. Michael prayer as we go to work. Pray God’s blessings on all those around you as you go and come from your homes. Even normal Catholics can say the "deliverance prayer of Pope Leo XIII" against places like abortion mills and porno shops.
Remember the old song: “Onward Christian soldiers marching on to war. With the Cross of Jesus going on before.” Be confident. We can use our powerful spiritual weapons to inflict a blot of damage on the demonic mess in the Middle East. Ready, aim, pray, pray, pray, as Mary keeps telling us in Medjugorje.