Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Unclean Spirits

17And coming down with them, he stood in a plain place, and the company of his disciples, and a very great multitude of people from all Judea and Jerusalem, and the sea coast both of Tyre and Sidon,
    18Who were come to hear him, and to be healed of their diseases. And they that were troubled with unclean spirits, were cured.  Luke 6:17-18 (Douay-Rheims American Version)
This passage comes from the abbreviated version of the Sermon on the Mount found in Luke.  Jesus has just gathered and appointed his disciples on the mountaintop and has come down to a level place to stand amidst the people gathered there from all over the nearby known world.  In this much regard it resembles the Day of Pentecost after the Resurrection.  People who were sick were brought.  People who were curious as to what Jesus would say came.  People troubled by unclean spirits came.
What is an unclean spirit?  I think we typically associate those with unclean spirits as those with screws loose in their psyche, which causes them to do and say odd or scary things.  It was a colloquial term for "mentally ill." before it was viewed as an illness.  Then, it carried the same degrees of hostility, curiosity, rudeness, and insensitivity that it engenders today.  While this is the meaning of the text to the best we can understand it, and the care and attention given to the mentally challenged is a struggle we still experience in the Church it can also be more broadly generalized to include most of the rest of humanity.   Without spiritual nurture and support, spirits get tarnished, disheveled, and disordered - in need of a cure.  The cure is to feel yourself on the same level plain as Jesus and to let him work His magic on you.  To leave your home or your safe ingrown places and travel a far distance if necessary and meet Jesus.  Meet Him and ask him boldly and directly for what you want or need.  Time spent with Jesus brings healing for the physical body and cure for the soul.  Trust Him for raising you up.

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