The Catholic Calendar for Tuesday, September 1, 2009
Tuesday of the Twenty-second Week in Ordinary Time

Scripture from today’s Liturgy of the Word:
1 Thessalonians 5:1-6, 9-11
Psalm 27:1, 4, 13-14
Luke 4:31-37

A reflection on today’s Sacred Scripture:

What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? (Luke 4:34)

The power and authority of Jesus is shown in today’s Gospel when Jesus destroys the spirit of an unclean demon. Mocking Jesus, the demon cries out, “I know who you are — the Holy One of God!” (Luke 4:34)

Even the demon recognizes Jesus as the Son of God!

Why then do we fail to see the divine truth we ourselves taunt, when we speak the name of Jesus in anger, provocation, or even wit? We might think we have command when we use God’s name this way, but to no purpose, as the demon learns when Jesus tears him down with a simple, “Be quiet.” Jesus has supreme authority and indeed, His name is Holy and must only be used in love.

Recently, I learned how much distance we put between ourselves and God when we waste His name emptily, but how, when we say His name with a humbly attentive heart, we actually invoke His presence within us. While sitting in an overcrowded waiting room for over an hour, my name was finally called. As I stood up, a lively woman across the room suddenly cried out, “Jesus!” as if Jesus Himself had just walked into the room! I was overjoyed at hearing His Name, not realizing she had said it in anger at my having been called before her, since she’d apparently arrived first. Unaware of her irritation, I walked over to her like a magnet! Exhilarated, I said, “Did you say, ‘Jesus’?”

In an instant, we both realized what had just happened, and her scowl changed to a beaming smile. She threw her head back in a shout of laughter, and without warning, I found myself wrapped in this stranger’s arms for the hug of my life, as we experienced together the power and grace of the only name that holds the presence it signifies: “Jesus.”

~ Elizabeth A. Tichvon | etichvon@comcast.net

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