October 9, 2020 – Friday of the 27th Week in Ordinary Time
Click here for the readings (https://bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/100920.cfm)
What is actually the difference between a demon-possessed person and an ego-possessed person? Today’s Gospel tells us of the encounters of Jesus between these two. There is a much interesting response between these two groups of people.
The “demon-possessed person,” because of God’s presence in Jesus, was driven out. The demon cannot withstand the power of God. The mere presence of Jesus was too powerful that they become restless. At Jesus’ command they come out at once and free the person.
The person who was being possessed by a demon is not himself/herself anymore. The person’s mind and heart was being hijacked and taken over by the demon. Because of the possession, the person does things to harm the self, yet, not of his/her own freewill but according to the dictate of the demon. This makes, indeed, the person a prisoner, manipulated and controlled.
In such situation, when we are being possessed by a demon, then, we are being denied of freedom, denied of joy, and denied of the light. Thus, we cannot help or save ourselves alone. Only through the help of another that we will be saved and be healed.
Thus, what is more interesting is, a demon-possessed person recognizes God because demons fear God. A demon is afraid of the light because demons hide, becomes insecure with joy because demons are always sad, and losses its grip and control when the person realizes that he/she has the freedom to be freed and to be healed.
The very presence of Jesus is the light that uncovers and brings into light those sins and pain hidden. Jesus is the joy that takes away our sadness. Jesus empowers and gives us the freedom to choose God and be freed.Tweet
Consequently, a demon trembles at the presence of Jesus and frees the person from its control. This tells us that, indeed, a demon-possessed person recognizes God and kneels before the Lord because he/she is aware of God’s tremendous power of love.
However, an “ego-possessed person” is filled with self-importance and self-entitlement. An ego-possessed person worships the ego. This kind of person only thinks what is good, what is beneficial and what is profitable for himself/herself. This person constantly seeks approval and praise from others. This person too believes that everything around him/her must serve him/her. He/she is more concerned of his/her personal importance.
Accordingly, an ego-possessed person acts violently to people around him/her who will try to confront the failures and the wrong in him/her. When we become ego-possessed person, we become always suspicious, malicious and vicious towards the presence of those who will try to confront us. Ego-possessed persons feel threatened at the goodness and honesty of others. Ego-possessed persons feel threatened at the goodness and honesty of others.
This was the treatment received by Jesus from those who were ego-possessed people. These people who pretended to believe in God through their elaborate prayers and meticulous observance of the law, were more concerned of themselves and not of those in need and even of God’s presence. Jesus’ presence was a threat to them that is why they tried to destroy Jesus, to eliminate God from their life, and Jesus knew their thoughts (Luke 11:17).
No matter how much Jesus wanted their conversion but their denial of God’s presence and power, prevented them. Their arrogance blinds and paralyzes their awareness of God’s presence.
Nonetheless, the Lord never surrenders to reach out to us whether we are demon-possessed or ego-possessed persons. Remember what Paul tells us in his letter to the Galatians, “Christ ransomed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us” (Gal 3: 13).
It is God’s initiative by offering us eternal life. God actively confronts us and offers us the light, the joy and the freedom of living in God and with our community. We, who have been gifted with faith like Abraham, may always allow Jesus to confront us, to disturb us and to liberate us from whatever possessions we are being possessed. Hinuat pa.
Jom Baring, CSsR