Making Service Personal Reflection
We don’t call Jesus “the liberator” for nothing. His liberating presence to the demoniacs was a sign that God is at work in the world. But Jesus’ exorcisms provoked wonder about the source of his power. His relatives thought he was out of his mind. His adversaries accused him of being in league with the devil. For Jesus, however, his power was God’s Spirit. His exorcisms were like “tying up the strong man” so as to render the evil spirit powerless and clear the way for something new—God’s reign of mercy. Liberation leaves the mark of mercy’s victory over suffering
of any sort. The gravest sin is to remain indifferent to suffering and so to perpetuate it.
Liberation was Jesus’ mission, and now it is ours to do in his spirit. To continue this mission of liberation, what would you change to show that mercy rules? Rather than focusing on changing externals (bureaucracy, authority figures, difficult people) over which we really have no control, how about changing what we can—our minds? Letting go of bitterness, anger, suspicion, stereotypes, and judgment frees both us and the other to be better.
Living under God’s reign of mercy requires a profound change in our way of thinking, seeing, and acting. To participate in the mission of liberating mercy we must first release all that holds our hearts in bondage. Only then will we cooperate with the power of the Spirit to set another free.
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