Today’s readings can be found here. Read Fr. Epicoco’s brief reflections on the daily Mass readings, Monday through Saturday, here. For Sunday Mass reading commentary from Fr. Rytel-Andrianik, see here.
“And when they got out of the boat, immediately the people recognized him, and ran about the whole neighborhood and began to bring sick people on their pallets to any place where they heard he was.”
Evil (whether physical, psychic, or spiritual) is one of the defining experiences of human life. We recognize it because it darkens our horizons, takes away our hope, impoverishes our life, pushes us toward death, fills us with anger, immobilizes our will. The list is longer, but I think we have all had at least one of these experiences. And we all know that we must overcome evil, but it is naive to think that we alone have the strength do so.
This is when we realize that we need help; that we need someone to pull us out. But the problem is that others can help us only to a certain degree. Jesus, on the other hand, is the one who has the power to radically deliver us from evil in all its dimensions. It is necessary, however, to “touch Him;” that is, to have a concrete experience of Him.
For us Catholics, the ordinary way of “touching” Jesus is the sacraments and the Word of God, which prepares us for that encounter. Prayer is not some sort of mental power; prayer is our attempt to establish a real relationship with Christ. I pray when I look for Him where I know He is.
If you want to be healed, seek Him like the crowds in today’s Gospel did. Look for Him in the Church, which is like the fringe of His cloak. Seek Him in a good confession, in a righteously lived Eucharistic communion, in a brother or sister whom you know to be an authentic witness of His love. And don’t just wish for it. Do something: Let Him do something for you.
Father Luigi Maria Epicoco is a priest of the Aquila Diocese and teaches Philosophy at the Pontifical Lateran University and at the ISSR ‘Fides et ratio,’ Aquila. He dedicates himself to preaching, especially for the formation of laity and religious, giving conferences, retreats and days of recollection. He has authored numerous books and articles. Since 2021, he has served as the Ecclesiastical Assistant in the Vatican Dicastery for Communication and columnist for the Vatican’s daily newspaper L’Osservatore Romano.