Sunday Reflection: 10th Sunday in Ordinary Time ( Year B )


In today’s readings, the Church invites us to reflect on our relationship with God and with evil. The first reading is the famous reading from the book of Genesis we are all familiar with. First man, Adam, and first woman, Eve, rather than obeying God, choose to disobey him and eat from the one tree God ordered them not to eat from. In the gospel reading, Jesus, the Son of God, is accused of being possessed by Satan and of acting in the name of Beelzebul; certainly no worse heresy could be thought of!

Perhaps we are being called to reflect on the problem of evil in our life and on our choice between good (God) and evil (going against God). The book of Genesis reminds us that God, out of his great love for humanity, not only wanted to create us, but also wanted us to be free. We are free to choose good (God) or to choose evil and turn away from God. The book of Genesis has a number of narratives to show how humanity turns away from God and goes its own way, away from God.

Further reading

The Servant of God Joseph De Piro was certainly familiar with this discussion. As part of his spirituality, he made frequent use of the Spiritual Exercises of St Ignatius of Loyola. In the archives, together with all the homilies and letters of the Servant of God, there is also a book of these Spiritual Exercises with his name signed on it. We also have a number of sermons that are based on these Spiritual Exercises, and in the constitutions of his Missionary Society of St Paul he encouraged his members to do their annual retreat based on these Exercises and to base their preaching and parish missions on these Exercises.

Two meditations in these exercises are very relevant to today’s reflection. In the first week the retreatant is invited to meditate on his personal relationship with God, especially with one’s choices away from God (sin). During the second week the retreatant is then invited to reflect on a situation where he is invited to listen to Christ and to Lucifer and to decide which standard he is to follow.

From these meditations, Joseph De Piro draws out two of his rules of life. Reflecting on his sinfulness and on Christ’s love for him he more than once exclaims: “The desire to give myself totally to God; he who suffered so much for my sins,” taken from his vocational discernment. And later on he cries out: “Master, I will follow you wherever you go!” His choice is for good (God) and against evil.

We too, like the Servant of God, are invited to make this choice in favour of good (God) and against evil.