Back when I was a boy, I was the remote control! Rest assured, I was a lot of other things including a lot of hungry, but I was the gadget used to ensure entertainment. We had a black and white console with rabbit ears that would land 3 local stations on to our TV screen. When it was time to change the station, I was the device used to flip channels. I could flip the dial clockwise and counterclockwise swiftly as well as anyone else and perfectly adjust the fine tuning with the turn of the dial! We kids were only allowed and hour and half of TV a day, so we had to choose wisely, and so all my day was not occupied being controlled by what to watch. Of course, there is much less to watch these days with Follywood increasingly pushing modernism and atheism on its’ hypnotized audience.
As if he was being controlled by a remote control, the deaf and dumb boy in the Gospel of St. Mark this morning was being controlled by the evil one. Being thrown into the fire or the water and foaming at the mouth and gnashing his teeth (Mark 9:17-31). According to the fathers, deaf because the fallen one would not allow the boy to hear the word of God, and dumb because the boy could not speak and praise God. Sometimes I let the fallen one have control of mind and my foaming tongue as well! When we allow the evil one to push our buttons, we are being thrown into the fire and then into the water as well. Our mouths may not yet be foaming, but we are on the path to that type of drooling enslavement.
I tend to also allow him to throw me into the fiery paths of anger and lust as well. And if that was not enough, with my jealousy, hatred and rage I continue to be tossed into the burn pile. And then I let my guard down and allow the waves of worldly care to consume me as if I had fallen off my life raft!
This is the time of fasting, confession and prayer! There is no freedom in sin! As enticed as we may be with what seems to be freedom to sin and all its trimmings, in actuality we are surrendering our true freedom over to the evil one, and rest assured he will be pushing your buttons! St. Justin Popovich instructs us: “In truth there is only one freedom – the holy freedom of Christ, whereby He freed us from sin, from evil, from the devil. It binds us to God. All other freedoms are illusory, false, that is to say, they are all, in fact, slavery.” St. Justin Popovich, Ascetical and Theological Chapters, II.36
Fr. Gabriel Weller 4-11-2021