Monday, January 23, 2012

Tie Up the Strong Man

January 23, 2012

Monday of the Third Week in Ordinary Time

David grew stronger and stronger, and Yahweh, God of Sabaoth, was with him. 2 Samuel 5:10

But no one can make his way into a strong man's house and plunder his property unless he has first tied up the strong man. Only then can he plunder his house. In truth I tell you, all human sins will be forgiven, and all the blasphemies ever uttered. Mark 3:27-28


Suscipe by St. Ignatius of Loyola

Take, Lord, and receive all my liberty,
my memory, my understanding,
and my entire will,
All I have and call my own.

You have given all to me.
To you, Lord, I return it.

Everything is yours; do with it what you will.
Give me only your love and your grace,
that is enough for me.


What "strong man" do you have to conquer? What weakness do you have to overcome? All of us have different answers. For some, we have consumption overload -- and have to control our appetite for food, alcohol, drugs or other addictions. For others, we have economic issues and have to control like wasteful spending made too easy by the proliferation of credit cards and the internet. There might be seven deadly sins but we have figured out seven times seventy ways to commit them.

If we are going to conquer our weakness, from where or whom will you get your strength? It will not come from a few circuits on the Nautilus machine down at the gym. It won't come from watching WWF matches on television. We stand a fighting chance against our personal demons and strongmen if we can derive our strength from the Lord the way David did.


Many of the signs Jesus did in these early days of his ministry involved both driving out demons or challenging people to get out of their comfort zones. Today's reading from the Gospel of Mark did both. Some people -- mostly those with powerful positions in the world of religion, government, military or commerce -- did not know how to react to Jesus. However, the poor and afflicted did not have that same trouble. They did not have the same psychological barriers to putting their faith in control As Jesus unchained them of the illness, disease or other affliction, they could more easily abandon their current lives and follow the commandments.

What is getting in the way of your ability to follow the Lord? How will you bind up that strong man? from whom will you get the wisdom, fortitude, justice or temperance to succeed?

No comments: