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Sunday, 19 March 2017

Rest from inner conflict

Here's my homily from the 8.00am service at St Martin-in-the-Fields:

Jesus calls us to be 100% for God in our lives. In his summary of the Law he says, Love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your strength, and all your mind (Mark 12. 30 - 31). When we fail to do so, we experience internal division. It is, for example, why Jesus insists that we cannot love God and Mammon (Luke 16. 13).

St Paul describes this state of internal conflict when he writes in the Letter to the Romans: 'I can will what is right, but I cannot do it. 19 For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I do. Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I that do it, but sin that dwells within me.

So I find it to be a law that when I want to do what is good, evil lies close at hand. For I delight in the law of God in my inmost self, but I see in my members another law at war with the law of my mind, making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. Wretched man that I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!' (Romans 7. 19 - 25)

In our Gospel passage (Luke 11.14-28) this internal dialogue, debate and division is described in the language of demon possession. We don’t find rest or peace from this internal conflict until we finally and fully surrender to God. Once that surrender has occurred, then we need to nurture and protect it in order that we do not revert back to the state of internal chaos and conflict but instead remain in the peace and rest of being given over to God.


Pärt, Glass and Martynov 's Silencio.

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