This Sunday we hear the gospel lesson from St. Matthew 8:28-9:1 concerning demons and possession. Jesus himself did not reject the popular notion of his time that Satan and his demons had power over the fallen world, causing physical and spiritual sicknesses and bringing about a distortion of the divine likeness of human beings. An important part of Jesus’ saving work was to exorcise the demons. Jesus’ presence, which is God’s presence expels demons. Jesus said, “If it is by the Spirit of God, that I cast out demons, then the Kingdom of God has come upon you”. Through His ministry Jesus establishes God’s Kingdom and forces back the kingdom of darkness.
Scripture also tells us there is personal evil, the demonic spirits, which deliberately seek to bring the downfall of men and women. We as Orthodox Christians are entreated to put on the armor of God and, “to stand up against the Devil’s evil tricks”, which exist even in our society today. We must guard against them by the grace of Christ. Our protection is to trust and rejoice in Christ. The name of Christ and the power of His Holy Cross guard us day and night from the demons of darkness. Let us give thanks for the grace and love of Christ for us His creation.
This week we also commemorate the memory of one of the greatest saints of the Church of Rus, St. Vladimir of Kiev, equal to the apostles, whose belief and baptism in the Lord, brought the people of Rus to the Orthodox Christian faith! May we all pray for his intercession before the throne of Almighty God. St. Vladimir of Kiev, pray unto God for us!