no problem or know problem
"There was a woman there who for eighteen years had been possessed by a spirit which drained her strength." —Luke 13:11
The woman in today's Gospel reading who had been possessed, drained, and stooped for eighteen years may represent the American Church. In the Catholic community, we have been drained of vocations to the priesthood and the religious life, drained of almost a generation of young people, and drained of faith through compromise with our secularized and materialistic culture.
As is customary in situations of bondage, we have denied the reality of the problem and thereby prolonged it. Instead of admitting there's something seriously wrong, we use euphemisms, such as "merger," "restructuring," and "transitions" in place of "close-down," "salvaging," and "deterioration."
Also, as with the synagogue of Jesus' day, there is something inside us that resents being set free (Lk 13:14). We know that freedom implies giving up our sinful ways, and so we clutch sin and hold on for dear death. We are in an adulterous relationship with the world.
"Make no mistake about this: no fornicator, no unclean or lustful person — in effect an idolater — has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no one deceive you with worthless arguments" (Eph 5:5-6). We must admit we have a problem, recognize disobedience as the way by which the devil has entered, and repent of our sins. Jesus wants to release us from our shackles, if we only let Him (Lk 13:16).
Prayer: Father, I repent of refusing to admit my need to repent. Forgive me for ruining my life and Your Church.
Promise: "As for lewd conduct or promiscuousness or lust of any sort, let them not even be mentioned among you; your holiness forbids this. Nor should there be any obscene, silly, or suggestive talk; all that is out of place. Instead, give thanks." —Eph 5:3-4
Praise: Ten years ago, Roger decided to live without a car. He simplified his lifestyle and has found great happiness in Jesus.
Rescript: †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, May 10, 2012
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