The evil spirit which possessed the man in the Gospel declared that Jesus was the Son of God, the Holy One of God. This was actually a profession of faith, although it came from the evil side. Yet, the Lord stopped the evil spirit from professing that He was the Son of God.

Why did the Lord stop the evil spirit? Not that He was denying the fact that He is the Son of God. The Lord wanted to be very careful because He did not like to be identified by the people as merely a miracle worker. He knew that when news spread that He performed miracles, His real mission would be forgotten. His real mission is to convert sinners – to challenge people to conversion.

The Lord wanted to make sure that His mission was not overshadowed by the fact that He could perform miracles. That is why He told the evil spirit, “Shut up because these people will rush up to me and say I am a miracle worker. That will spoil my mission. I am not here simply as a miracle worker. I am here to convert people.”

That is also the mission of the Church. The Church is not an institution that provides only a Catholic education. The Church is not an institution that protects only human rights. The Church is not simply an institution that heals sick people.

If the Church were reduced to merely those kinds of institutions, then the Church would betray the mission of Jesus Christ.

The mission of the Church is to convert people while healing them. The mission of the church is to convert people while educating them.

There are times when we pray for bodily healing, and yet fail to experience it. Instead of giving us physical relief, the Lord blesses us with perseverance and faith. That is a better blessing, There will be times when we ask the Lord to cure the poverty that afflicts our nation. Yet the Lord will not cure our poverty but will bless us with increased faith so we can go on despite our crises. That is a better blessing.

The Church is here not simply to do wonders and miracles. The Church is here to continue the mission of Jesus Christ which is to change the hearts of people, to convert the hearts of people, to challenge people to repentance. That mission is also yours.

Your mission is not just to put something into the collection basket. Your mission is not just to see that the Catholic faith is defended. Your mission is to convert the hearts of people so that people will see you and will be reminded of the mercy of God. So that people will see you and be reminded that you are good, as He must be good. Your mission is to remind people of the goodness of God Himself.

Come to think of it, when people see us, are they reminded of God?

Mk. 1:21-28
Only Jesus, Always Jesus

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