Lk 4:31-37 Pushing And Pulling
Jesus went down to Capernaum, a town of Galilee…In the synagogue there was a man with the spirit of an unclean demon… Jesus rebuked him and said, “Be quiet! Come out of him!” Then the demon threw the man down in front of them and came out of him without doing him any harm… News of him spread everywhere in the surrounding region.
This morning I celebrated Mass at St. Monica and Ursuline Academy. I was surprised to see that most of the smiles on the children’s faces had already vanished. They haven’t been in school for more than two weeks and already the enthusiasm and joy have dimmed away.
School can be a very violent place. Teachers can be very violent. What teachers do to their students is very similar to what people do to doors? They push and pull at them ALL DAY LONG.
Teachers, like coaches, are constantly pushing, slamming or jamming stuff into children’s brains and then demanding they give it back. Coaches love to explain new plays and tactics to their players only to challenge them to give it all they got!
But what teachers do is nothing less than what we are expected to do throughout our life. Our entire live may be summed up as pushing and pulling. Or, in more familiar words: giving and receiving.
This is the meaning of life. This even explains how we got here. Doesn't the doctor's tell every mother: "Push!!!" while he pulled? This is the reason why we are here, and this is what we do…ALL THE TIME. Even breathing consists of pulling in and pushing out. It’s not only to our benefit; it is to the benefit of all. It is what all living beings do. Even God does it! He is constantly giving and receiving.
Christ came into the world to give himself to the world. He came to give, to give himself, and he expects us to give back as well.
At every Mass, we receive the body, blood, soul and divinity of the Lord in the Eucharist. He gives Himself to us because He expects us to be givers like Himself to others. This is the only reason why He allows us to receive Him: for our benefit and for the benefit of others.
The Lord went to Capernaum to heal a man who was sick; a man who was being tormented by an evil spirit. What this evil spirit consisted of could have been anything: a fear, a thought, a past event, a recurring nightmare. Regardless, this man was living hell on earth. The Lord came to Him and pulled out of him whatever was in him, and gave him back his life. In return, word spread like wildfire throughout the region of what the Lord had done. The healed man was giving to others what he had received.
Why are we here? Why do we breathe? This morning a small child wrapped in his mother's arms said, "To be happy!" Amen to that! But what makes us happy? Is it just receiving? Is it just giving? The answer is giving and receiving; loving and being loved. It’s that simple. It's that remarkable. And what is even more remarkable is the following: the deeper you breathe in, the more you breathe out. When you receive more, you must give more.
In order to live, we must breathe in and breathe out. In order to live happily ever after, we must give and receive. Let’s all take a deep breath today. Let’s give more than just ourselves. Let’s give the Lord, the source of all blessings, of all life, of all meaning and purpose, to those around us.
Get rid of the devil and allow the Lord to come in.