Father Edward McIlmail, LC
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The seventy-two disciples returned rejoicing, and said,
"Lord, even the demons are subject to us because of
your name." Jesus said, "I have observed Satan fall
like lightning from the sky. Behold, I have given
you the power ´to tread upon serpents´ and scorpions
and upon the full force of the enemy and nothing
will harm you. Nevertheless, do not rejoice because the
spirits are subject to you, but rejoice because your
names are written in heaven." At that very moment he
rejoiced in the Holy Spirit and said, "I give
you praise, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, for
although you have hidden these things from the wise and
the learned you have revealed them to the childlike.
Yes, Father, such has been your gracious will. All
things have been handed over to me by my Father.
No one knows who the Son is except the
Father, and who the Father is except the Son
and anyone to whom the Son wishes to reveal him."
Turning to the disciples in private he said, "Blessed
are the eyes that see what you see. For I
say to you, many prophets and kings desired to
see what you see, but did not see it,
and to hear what you hear, but did not hear
Introductory Prayer:Jesus, I approach you in prayer,
knowing that these are some of the most important
moments of the day. This time I spend with
you helps put the rest of the day in perspective
and gives me a sense of my total dependence
on you. With childlike simplicity I trust in your
loving providence. Though I am unworthy to be in your
presence, I at least want to offer you my
best effort during this prayer, seeking only to please you.
Petition: Let me see, Holy Spirit, that the most
important thing in life is to reach heaven.
1. Name-dropping: The
disciples marvel at the power of Jesus´ name, even
before demons. Such is the great power of Christ
in the world. "There is no salvation through anyone else,
nor is there any other name under heaven given
to the human race by which we are to be
saved" (Acts 4:12). Christ, as the Messiah who came
to redeem us, is in a league by himself.
Thus, all authentic devotion, be it to Mary, be it
to a favorite patron saint, only has sense insofar
as it leads us to Christ. He is and
remains the best model for us. As Vatican II teaches,
Christ "fully reveals man to man himself and makes
his supreme calling clear" (Gaudium et Spes, 22). Is
there anyone I put ahead of Christ in my life?
The Ledger: Jesus seems to shrug off the victories
over Satan. What he deems more important for his disciples
is that their names are written in heaven. Indeed,
Christianity is about more than just defeating the devil.
Ours is an eminently positive faith, designed to help
us grow in our love for God and in our
imitation of the virtues of Christ. As an exercise
in love, it is open-ended, always inviting us to do
more for others and for Christ. Love knows no
limits, so we shouldn´t think that we "have arrived."
Do I understand that I´m called to love and to
imitate Christ till the last moment of life?
Son: Love drives Christ, specifically love for his heavenly
Father. The realization that he does his Father´s will
impels Christ to undergo hardships, tiredness, hunger and rejection.
But he won´t be deterred. As a young man in
love, Christ seems to have an endless reserve of
energy for the sake of his Beloved. It is his
secret source of strength, so to speak. Thus he
teaches us a deep truth of human nature. "Man
cannot live without love," wrote Pope John Paul II in
his first encyclical. "He remains a being that is
incomprehensible for himself; his life is senseless, if love
is not revealed to him." If ever we feel
burned out by the world, we should ask ourselves, “How
much do I love others? Do I gladly sacrifice
myself for others? Do I seek the good of others
Conversation with Christ:My faith is first and
foremost a relationship with you, Lord. It requires a constant
response of love on my part. Help me be
generous in responding to your inspirations toward love.
I will show thanks for my faith by doing
an extra act of charity today.