This week’s readings are very powerful indeed. They contain references to the Holy Spirit and the power of the Name of our Lord Jesus. In our first reading from Numbers we are told that God took some of the Spirit on Moses and gave it to the seventy elders. Prophesy even came forth from many of them. Imagine the sheer power of that scene, and this was only a portion of the Spirit!
In our second reading St. James again does not mince words and tells of the perils of those who have gotten rich by misusing their own workers and stealing their wages. This is a lesson to all of us that we need to live out our Faith by helping those in need and not abusing the things God has placed in our care.
Finally we have the Gospel and here Our Lord brings it all together. Did you ever wonder why people use the name of Jesus as a curse word? No one ever yells out Buddha’s name when they are cut off on the highway, or use Confucius, Lao Tzu or Mohammed when they hit their finger with a hammer. Why our Lord’s name? Because
even the demons know that there is power in the name of Jesus. There is power to cast out demons, power to heal, even power to be set free from sin. In the Gospel our Lord tells us that it is better if we cut away things that make us sin then to wind up in Gehenna, where the fire is never quenched. (Gehenna is another term for Hell or a place for burning and trash disposal). Our Lord wants us to remove the trash of sin in our lives for it is better to remove these things now, then to wind up in Hell, and we do this through the Sacraments and in the wonderful and powerful name of Jesus. So, this week, take some time and think about things you need to root out and cut away in your own lives and let us never again use the most powerful name of Jesus in vain. Something to think about…and may God richly bless you always…