Bottom line: Those spiritual powers are personal - Satan and the demons. We need the power of Jesus to combat them.
This Sunday we have the First Scrutiny: an exorcism prayer based on the Gospel we just heard where Jesus offers the Samaritan woman "Living Water" that is, the Holy Spirit.
"Whoever drinks the water I shall give will never thirst; the water I shall give will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life"
Jesus then dialogues with the woman about the state of her soul. She admits she has had five husbands. Bishop Barron says:
"Think of the five husbands as five errant paths the woman has taken. She has 'married' herself to wealth, pleasure, honor, power, material things, etc."
"Or think of them as five ideologies or gurus she has followed hoping to find joy."
It was not easy for the woman to accept Jesus. She had become cynical about men in general and as a Samaritan she bears a hostility to Jews. Think of the aversion some Democrats feel about Republicans - and vica versa - and you will have a tiny idea of the hostility between Samaritans and Jews.
Jesus knows all the issues involved but he knows something else - the spiritual powers that turn us away from God and from each others. Those spiritual powers are personal - Satan and the demons. We need the power of Jesus to combat them. As we will hear in the First Scrutiny:
"Grant that these catechumens,
who, like the woman of Samaria, thirst for living water,
may turn to the Lord as they hear his word
and acknowledge the sins and weaknesses that weigh them down.
Protect them from vain reliance on self
and defend them from the power of Satan...Amen."
From Archives (Year A homilies for Third Sunday of Lent):
Seapadre Homilies: Cycle A, Cycle B, Cycle C
Audio Files of Homilies (Simple Catholicism Blog)
Take the Plunge Bible Study (audio resources) *New episodes for Ordinary Time leading up to Lent*
Are these homilies a help to you? Please consider making a donation to St. Mary of the Valley Parish.
Other Priests' Homilies, Well Worth Listening:
Fr. Frank Schuster
Fr. Brad Hagelin
Fr. Jim Northrop
Fr. Michael White
Fr Pat Freitag (and deacons of St. Monica)
Bishop Robert Barron
Bulletin (St. Mary of Valley Parish)
Parish Picture Album
MBC - Mary Bloom Center, Puno, Peru