In today’s Gospel, Jesus talked about the abilities that believers of him possess:
"These signs will accompany those who have believed: in My name they will cast out demons, they will speak with new tongues; they will pick up serpents, and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover." (Mark 16: 17-18)
I have to say that I used to look at such seemingly mystical promises with scepticism. Cast out demons? Speak with new tongues? Not hurt by deadly poison? Curing the sick? Oh, well.
But as I get to know more about the spiritual aspect of our existing, I begin to see the truth in the promises and the great power of the faith. The demons that need to be cast out are not those that roam the street in Halloween but those beings that reside in us and do dirty tricks there. There is one in each of us and it is our own ego. While it affects us in all aspects of our life, it is extremely tough to handle because we have so identified with and are so taken over by it that we are not even aware that our ego and our true self are different entities, and there are ways for us to break away from it.
Take tennis for example. This paragraph from an online article called “Tame Your Inner Voice” says it all:
"More than three decades of work with tennis players has helped me understand that the real power broker, in terms of on-court performance and achievement, is your inner voice. The voice that can be brutal or supportive, discouraging or inspiring, childish or mature, is, in fact, the architect of your reality and provides the meaning and context for every experience you have."
The writer goes on to cite research evidence that a negative inner voice is more powerful than a positive one. This is nothing short of recognising the destructive power of the ego. In life, we are also taunted by the negative, dysfunctional inner voice, possessing the characteristics of those people to whom Jesus’s great promise is addressing – fearing, mourning, weeping, unbelieving.
Lord Jesus, please strengthen our belief and help us cast out the demons in us.