Unity in God’s Kingdom

Luke 11: 15-26
Gal 3: 7-14 / Psa 111

He who is not with me is against me, and he who does not gather with me, scatters.
(Luke 11:23.)

The evil that our Lord exorcized
Are spirits that we must recognize;
They do not gather with Jesus Christ
Who are scattered by their scheming lies.

But some of them said, “By Beelzebub, the prince of demons, he is driving out demons.” Others tested Him by asking for a sign from heaven. Jesus knew their thoughts and said to them: “Any kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and a house divided against itself will fall. If Satan is divided against himself, how can his kingdom stand? I say this because you claim that I drive out demons by Beelzebub. Now if I drive out demons by Beelzebub, by whom do your followers drive them out? So then, they will be your judges. But if I drive out demons by the finger of God, then the kingdom of God has come to you. When a strong man, fully armed, guards his own house, his possessions are safe. But when someone stronger attacks and overpowers him, he takes away the armor in which the man trusted and divides up the spoils. He who is not with me is against me, and he who does not gather with me, scatters. When an evil spirit comes out of a man, it goes through arid places seeking rest and does not find it. Then it says, ‘I will return to the house I left.’ When it arrives, it finds the house swept clean and put in order. Then it goes and takes seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and live there. And the final condition of that man is worse than the first.” (Luke 11:15-26)

Reflection

His enemies attributed Jesus’ power to drive out evil spirits from Beelzebul, the prince of darkness. By their words the Pharisees revealed their true nature. They would rather remain in the dark than accede that the power of Jesus was divine. They schemed and spread their lies that have only served to scatter the nation of Israel up to the present time, and put a perpetual curse of persecution on the “chosen people” because they chose to reject Jesus Christ as their Messiah and Risen Savior. Thus, the condition of Israel today is even worse than the time when our Lord said, “Whoever is not with me is against me and whoever does not gather with me scatters” (Lk.11:23). Seven spirits more wicked than the first have moved in and dwelled there, because the Jews believed the lies of their spiritual leaders, rather then believe in the Good News of salvation that God declared when He became man.

Rather than being cynical and suspicious like the Pharisees, let us open our hearts and minds to the good that others are doing. A discerning mind trusts, and a compassionate heart believes, even when the ways are mysterious and not familiar to our own.

Yes, even in our brotherhood we all have differences, but are we not all subjects of the same King? Are we not all called by the same Spirit to proclaim His Word, and profess the same faith in our Savior, Jesus Christ? Whether we are Catholics, Episcopaleans, Methodists, Baptists, Evangelicals, or any other Protestant denomination, we are all members of the same Mystical Body of Christ. All of us are treading the same path that our Lord, the Way, the Truth and the Life has shown us to reach our Father in heaven. Jesus has established His kingdom in our hearts, and as God’s children, we must break the barriers of separation that divide us, to prove that the Kiingdom of God was never divided. This delusion is the evil spirit that we must cast out of Christ’s Household.

Father, Your Son, Jesus, our King has established His kingdom in our hearts, making us a “royal priesthood” of believers. Grant us the grace to overcome our differences, especially in our community, so that united as one people, East and West shall meet to realize Your kingdom here on earth. Amen.

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