Dear Parishioners of St. James:
Praised be Jesus Christ!
Jesus was sent by the Father to cast out the power of Satan, spirit of evil, to rescue man from the kingdom of darkness, and to bring him into the splendor of His kingdom of light. These similar words are taken from the pre-baptismal exorcism of a child from the Rite of Baptism. Parents must present their children weeks after birth in order to claim them for Christ our Savior. Before Baptism, the Church exorcizes each child from the clutches of the evil one and then seals them as children of God by water and the Holy Spirit.
Jesus praised the woman in the Gospel today for her “great faith” (Mt. 15:28). A demon was tormenting the woman’s child and she besought Jesus for deliverance. Her humility and perseverance paid off. The demon was cast out by Jesus.
First, parents must not delay the Baptism of their children! The Church supplies sanctifying grace, divine sonship, infused virtues and exorcism to infants shortly after birth. What mother or father would not want such great gifts for their children? Baptism is the first and necessary Sacrament for salvation. Through the waters of Baptism we pass from death to eternal life.
Second, parents are obliged to pray for their children in order to protect them from the evil one. The fact that the woman in the Gospel was not an Israelite did not deter her from beseeching Jesus for her child. Jesus did not answer her prayer immediately but only after much persistence. Parents, do not give up petitioning Jesus for your children! The devil is strong but Jesus is infinitely stronger. Ask God like the woman did in the Gospel: “Lord, help me” (Mt. 15:25). Such a simple prayer will eventually deliver your child and bring healing.
God bless you,