January 13, 2016

The good news for the day
Getting up very early—before dawn, Jesus left town to go out to an isolated place, where he prayed. Simon and others with him went looking for Him; finding Him, they complained, “Everybody is out looking for you.” He told them, “Let’s go on to the little towns near us so that I can preach there too. It’s for this reason I have come.” So he would go into their synagogues, preaching and getting rid of overpowering forces throughout all Galilee. (Mark 1, 35-39)


As He starts a public career, and after prayer, Jesus wants to show that he does not just preach and teach about the “kingdom of God”—the realm of what’s right—but does things to show that it is breaking into people’s lives.


A Savior-Messiah is stronger than “demons”—those addictions, habits and attitudes that control us. Too often we picture a dramatic movie, religious rite, or confrontation with a person-like entity that takes over a human body. That picture distorts the truth: it does not show what Jesus is doing


You have your demons—look inside! Find the motives, subconscious prejudices, old beliefs, addictions and cultural forces that control you from within—things you believe in but that are just not true—but motivate you. They are your “demons” driving you to heartless behavior, stupid remarks and denials of reality. See these demons, and once you accept that perspective—once you admit your own demons—it becomes clear what is going on.


You cast out a demon as you remove an ingrained bad habit (like too much drinking, smoking or eating), an addiction controlling you, a prejudice setting you against your fellow humans, an ideological attitude corrupting you into superiority, hate and contempt. In daily life you recognize these “demons” in others. You “cast them out” such demons in yourself and others by prayer—appreciating “our” Father, forgiving and being forgiven. In humility, you start to hear Good News, the in-breaking of openness, the release of constraints—the freedom to become yourself!!


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