Recognising Evil. Confronting Evil. | Word from the Shepherd No. 117 | 4th Sunday of Ordinary Time Year B

4th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year B
Dt.18:15-20; 1Cor.7:32-35; Mk.1:21-28

It is a known fact that many are armchair politicians and complainers. Hardly we see them face bad situations nor want to address them. Everywhere there’s so much complaints and swearing, but very few step out to help or do something about it or join the change-makers. Evil triumphs when no one does anything.

Evil takes many forms. In Deuteronomy, evil is seen as “not heeding the word or God”. The people may refuse barge or respond. The prophets may not represent the ONE who sent them or do not speak the words.

Paul, not only refers to divided attentions and anxieties in serving God, but the bigger evil entering marriage or celibate life when one is not ready for it, nor know the why for opting for either one vocation, and for being ill-prepared for either one. Jesus in Mark’s Gospel pointed out another evil – the unclean spirit.

Besides the diabolical and demonic, there are other forms of evil. Illusions, lies, repressed anger and egocentric ego are grouped as the evil within. In our caring and ministering, we encounter evil in the people. They express themselves as aggression, defeatist mindset, wicked exploiters of the weak and practitioners of the culture of death in many communities. There is the institutional evil found in the government policies, systems, agencies and employers, religious and secular bodies. Often they promote exclusivity, privileges, racism and fanaticism, corruption and decadence.

All evil is anti-love, anti-life, anti-freedom, anti-unity or community, anti-human dignity and anti-human rights.

How do we address evil? How do we confront it? The Scriptures provide a Way.

  1. We need prophetic man and women, with the spirit of Moses and Jesus, filled with the word of God, unafraid to speak and unafraid to be sent by God. Ask God for prophets like Hebrews who asked Moses for successors.
  2. We need to recognise the evil before us, the wrongs and address it.
    “Evil triumphs when good men or women do nothing.” (Edmund Burke)
  3. We have to name the evil. If it is corruption, then it is corruption, not donation.
    “Everything belongs and no one is to be scapegoated or excluded. Evil and illusion only need to be named and exposed truthfully and they die in e posture to the light.” (Richard Rohr)
  4. We educate the people to discern and to act.
    “Teach with authority. A new teaching that frees, that disturbs the “unclean spirits” in people, communities and institutions.” (Jesus)
  5. We must confront in love and out of love for God and His people, the afflicted. Only Love Conquers. Love of God and love for God’s people frees, restores and brings new life. A regeneration takes place. Many a times, good people had acted on this premise “that the end justifies the means.” But the scriptures remind us that no evil means can be employed to accomplish good.”

Face the evil within us, in our lives, in our ministries, in our systems and institutions.


Word from the Shepherd Issue No. 117. 4th Ordinary Sunday B, Recognising Evil. Confronting Evil.