Fr. Mike’s Daily Meditation

December 18th

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The Power of Choice (Matthew 9:27-31)
 

As Jesus passed on from there, two blind men followed [him], crying out, “Son of David, have pity on us!” When he entered the house, the blind men approached him and Jesus said to them, “Do you believe that I can do this?” “Yes, Lord,” they said to him. Then he touched their eyes and said, “Let it be done for you according to you faith”; and their eyes were opened.


Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (beginning session)
 

A criticism of J. K. Rowling’s later Harry Potter books and movies that have adapted those books is a criticism that involves life more than literature. The criticism is that it seems the delight and joy of the earlier books may have ceased for Harry and his friends. The reason is really very simple. Harry’s life and indeed the life of the world as they knew it was in jeopardy. Voldemort was alive, and as Harry finds out in the movie, “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix,” it will be a battle to the death of either Voldemort or Harry.

His adult friends must re-enkindle the protective Order of the Phoenix. Harry himself tells his godfather Sirius Black that he is extremely worried because it feels like he is becoming more like Voldemort. He feels angry all the time. He asks Sirius, “What if after everything I’ve been through, something’s gone wrong inside me. What if I’m becoming bad?” Sirius explains to Harry that he is not a bad person, but in fact that he is a very good person to whom bad things have happened. He tells Harry, “The world isn’t split into good people and Death Eaters. We have all got both light and dark inside us. What matters is the power we choose to act on. That’s who we really are.”


Daily Meditation by Fr. Mike Scully
 

Sirius Black’s comment to Harry Potter is one of significant insight–human beings have both light and dark inside of them. They have the darkness that seems to totally envelop them at times, making them feel like criminals, incapable of doing anything that can help anyone, including themselves. But thankfully, God created us to be people of light as well. We are capable of choosing a guiding light that can direct us to be the people we should be.

Such a light goes by various names. For the two blind men in Matthew’s Gospel and for the follower of Jesus Christ, it is called “faith,” that is, accepting the teachings and direction of the person that Christians believe to be the Son of God. For others it might be the tenets of their own religion or even their own personal beliefs that they have accepted over time. Whatever it is called, it is the power that Sirius Black referred to, indeed that Jesus Christ had.

But knowing about the power is not enough. It must be something active for us. Jesus asks the blind men whether they have it, whether they believe that Jesus can do what they want. Sirius Black tells Harry that we have to choose to act on the power. That is, we know that we have power to be good or bad; we must choose the good.


Thought
 

In your own life right now as you use the power to be good, what should you choose to do for the better?

Prayer
 

Good and gracious God, your Son brought people to choose the light of good in their lives. He told us that it was not enough to know the good, although it is an important part of our lives. Help us to know and use the power to be good in all that we do. Be with us, we pray.



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