SUNDAY MASS LIVESTREAM IS AT 10AM ON 31ST JANUARY FROM
HOLY TRINITY AND ST GEORGE
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Fr Hugh’s Homily for the Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Exorcism is the heart of today’s gospel. The word ‘exorcism’ often gets people very excited, often people with no knowledge about it at all but are thrilled at the idea, perhaps after watching some Hollywood production as The Exorcist, or The Rite, or Possession. Some Christians have no problem with this these days, but for others it is hard to relate it to today. The way possession or illness is seen in the Bible is as the result of sin or the fact that it is the devil at work, which again many find difficult these days. When I was working with the homeless in St. Martin-in-the-Fields in London the old guys would often have fits as a result of drink or untreated problems. One of my fellow members of staff had been an evangelical Christian but became a Catholic, bringing with him many of his old ways (not that some Catholics would not have agreed with him). One day I found him praying over an old guy who had had a fit that the devil might leave him. As someone who has epilepsy I suddenly found this incredibly offensive and launched into the poor guy accordingly, though he was only doing what he thought would help and was right. And that is the problem with the gospel sometimes it can seem offensive….