As we enter the beginning of Ordinary Time in the Church’s liturgical year, our readings today show us that the power of God is anything but ordinary. God answers the prayer of Hannah, ending her misery as the barren wife of Elkanah. Jesus, displaying His power and authority as the Son of God, calls the unclean spirits out of the man. These readings give us the opportunity to reflect on our own faith in God. Does it resemble the faith of Hannah, or do the demons inside us overpower us and lash out at God?
Both Hannah and the man possessed were tormented and miserable. Hannah’s faith led her to the house of the Lord where she begged Him to end her misery. In the synagogue in the presence of Jesus, the demons inside the man boldly challenged Jesus. Only the power of Jesus could drive out the demons and set the man free from the power of Evil within him.
How strong is our faith in the power of God? Our faith in God is revealed during times of trial, suffering, and misery. Everyone goes through these difficult times. During our difficulties Satan tries to destroy our faith in God, filling us with anger and doubts about God’s love for us. If we are unaware of the power of Evil in our lives, we are in danger of becoming a slave to evil. If we are not fully aware of how deep God’s love is for us, we begin to doubt in His power to overcome the Evil One.
We must never forget the power of God, made real and present to us in the person of Jesus Christ. Jesus has already won the war against evil. However, we must still fight the daily battles against the power of evil in our lives. Our faith in his death and resurrection, the path by which he conquered sin and death out of love for us, is the power we need to win these battles.
Hannah endured the misery of being barren, which was considered an evil curse for women in biblical times. Hannah endured the evil torment by Peninnah, the fertile wife of Elkanah. In her misery she turned to God for comfort and help. In our own times of misery and torment, we too must turn to God for comfort and help.
Let us pray, today and every day, for the strength of faith to turn to and trust in the power of God to help us through the difficult times. Let’s dive into God’s Word to increase our faith in Him. Finally, let’s be strengthened and healed by the power of God in the Sacraments. Prayer, God’s Word, and the Sacraments are tools God gives us to strengthen our faith in Him.
Today’s Question for Prayer and Reflection
How is God calling you to strengthen your faith in His power to overcome the evil in your life?