Posted by: fvbcdm | January 13, 2015

Feast of Saint Hilary (13 Jan 2015)

We are at the beginning of Ordinary Time in the Church year, and we begin reading the gospel according to Saint Mark in our Sunday and weekday Masses. Saint Mark was a disciple of the apostle, Saint Peter, and so what we hear in this gospel is the preaching of the Prince of the Apostles which Saint Mark wrote down for the benefit of all Christians until the end of time. And in the first chapter of that gospel, we find Our Lord returning to his home area of Galilee in the north of the Holy Land after being baptized by Saint John the Baptist in Judea, to the south.

When Jesus arrives in the region of the Sea of Galilee, the heart of that northern region, he does three things by way of beginning his public ministry: he begins to preach the gospel, he begins choosing his apostles who will be the foundations stones of the Church, and he begins his battle with the forces of evil.

The “good news,” or gospel, which he preached was basically that God is love, and that God wants to draw all humankind to himself both in this world and in the world to come. That is all of Our Lord’s message in a nutshell. Walking along the shore of the Sea of Galilee, Jesus invites four men to become his followers. They were two sets of brothers: Simon Peter and Andrew, the sons of Jona, and James and John, the sons of Zebedee. He asks them to follow him, and promises to make them “fishers of men.” They couldn’t possibly know what that meant at the time. And then, in the synagogue where he preached on the Sabbath to his fellow Jewish people, Jesus is confronted by a devil who had possessed a man. “I know who you are,” the devil shouts at Our Lord, “the Holy One of God!” The devil was quite right, but Our Lord is not going to enter a shouting match with a rebellious angel, one of Satan’s followers. So, using his divine power over evil, he says with supreme authority, “Quiet! Come out of him!” Unable to resist the goodness and power of Christ, the devil throws the man into a convulsion and “with a loud cry,” came out of the man, leaving him in possession of his own body and faculties. So here begins the titanic struggle of Christ against anti-Christ, good against evil, God against Satan. That struggle will continue until the end of time, and Jesus will emerge victorious, but it will cost him his life upon the cross.

Today, let us adore our divine Lord as Saint Mark presents him to us at the beginning of his public life: beginning the Christian evangelization of the world by his own preaching and his preparation of his Church to continue that apostolate down through the centuries, and then using the power of God to overcome sin, evil, malice, and the desire of Hell to keep as many out of Heaven as possible. If we will adhere to the good news—the gospel of Our Lord Jesus Christ—our admittance to Heaven will be assured. Heaven begins here on this earth through God’s grace, and then goes on forever in God’s endless glory.  Thank you for seeking God’s truth, God Bless you.  Father Victor Brown, O.P.

Note: This message was composed some years ago.

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