Daily Office Readings for Monday of Proper 25: Year 1
Morning, Psalms 41 and 52; Evening, Psalm 44;
Zechariah 1:7 to 17; Revelation 1:4 to 20; Matthew 12:43 to 50:
“When the unclean spirit has gone out of a person, it wanders through waterless regions looking for a resting-place, but it finds none. Then it says, “I will return to my house from which I came.” When it comes, it finds it empty, swept, and put in order. Then it goes and brings along seven other spirits more evil than itself, and they enter and live there; and the last state of that person is worse than the first. So will it be also with this evil generation:” (Matthew 12: 43 to 45).
Our Lord Jesus speaks of various evil spirits that will inhabit us should they find a vacancy in us. They can be driven out, but if we don’t work at finding worthwhile, good spirits to make a home in us, the evil spirits will return and be even worse.
It seems we humans are made to be led by one kind of spirit or another. All spirits or longings make themselves manifest in us by the way we think, our attitudes towards others, and our charitable, or self –serving greed. We have choices.
The only choice we do not have is to stay void of any spirit at all. Every person I have ever met pushes towards some desire, the good or the bad. When I say good I include everything from studying birds, or the universe, or medicine, or theology, or anything godly that keeps us occupied with learning that may help or inform others in a good way. When I say bad, it tends to be all practices that bring harm, hurt or death to our neighbor. The bad practices may include, but are not limited to, identity theft, the illicit sell of drugs, any desire of trying to take something that does not belong to us, and any harm we wish to have done to others, even in the name of so called justice.
We need to monitor our emotions and desires. Are they good or bad? If accomplished, will the spirit of our desires bring others wholeness; or new helpful information; or a way to start their own search for goodness? We must “be” those we are in any kind of relationship with. Any notion in us that has us to not care about our neighbor is the manifestation of an evil spirit that is lurking around looking for a vacancy. We must fill our desires with ambitions that build up our neighbor and our Church. Good and positive spirits do not have to appear religious but will still have a charitable and loving outcome.
As we listen to what the Spirit is saying to us, let us live to love, to serve, and to teach, while pondering anew what the Almighty can do. John