5th SEPTEMBER 2023

Luke 4:31-37 | Church of The Holy Name of Mary



Memorial of Saint Teresa of Kolkata


1 Thes 5: 1-6, 9-11;                Ps 27: 1, 4, 13-14;                  Lk 4: 31-37




In the Gospel of Luke, this is the first time Jesus encounters an “unclean demon” in a man, who recognizes him as the “Holy One of God.” There is a constant battle between the two, up to the Cross, when finally he is defeated. In his “Spiritual Exercises” one of the peak moments is when St Ignatius of Loyola asks us to choose between “The Standard of Satan” or the “Standard of Christ.” In opting for one we will find ourselves in direct opposition to, and in conflict with the other (cf. Second Week, Fourth Day of the Spiritual Exercises).


Many times, when we think of the devil or Satan, we think of him as someone outside of us. This is also what we understand from an image used by St Peter: “Your enemy the devil prowls about like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour” (1Pet 5:8). Even the scene of the devil tempting Jesus, gives us the same impression (cf. Lk 4:1-3; Mt 4:1-11). But we should not forget that he is often within ourselves. And it is so because we have knowingly or sometimes because of our negligence and lethargy, allowed him to enter us. Often it happens in small ways, and if unchecked, can lead to full possession.


Today we are keeping the memorial of St (Mother) Teresa of Kolkata. Only after her death, through her letters, we came to know that, except for one short period, Teresa had been afflicted with a deep sense of God’s absence for the last half-century of her life. Seeing her so joyful and dedicated in her service to the poor, nobody – not even her closest associates – was aware of her spiritual darkness. Four years before she died, she warned her sisters that “the Devil” is continuously on the prowl to “make you feel it is impossible that Jesus really loves you, is really cleaving to you. This is a danger for all of us.”


Response: I believe I shall see the Lord’s goodness in the land of the living.

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