Luke 11: 15-26
Gal 3:7-14 / Ps 111
…Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters.
The evil Jesus exorcized
Are spirits we must recognize;
They are scattered by scheming lies
Who don’t gather with Jesus Christ.
(After our Lord had driven out a mute demon) some in the crowd said, “By Beelzebul, 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 Beelzebul. Now if I drive out demons by Beelzebul, 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 upon 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 his plunder. Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters. When an impure spirit comes out of a person, 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 person is worse than the first.” (Luke 11:15-26)
The devil was clearly at work manipulating the cynics who attributed the Lord’s power to drive out demons from the prince of darkness. But “If Satan is divided against himself, how can his kingdom stand?” By their very words, the blasphemers showed that they would rather be blind than choose to see the truth. They chose to be in the dark than accept the power of Jesus as divine. They schemed and spread their lies that up to the present time have only served to scatter the Jews as a nation. Their lies have put a perpetual curse of conflicts and wars on the land of the “Chosen People” who had rejected the Messiah, Jesus Christ, the Risen Savior.
The condition of Israel today is 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). As Jesus had prophesied, history has shown that the Jews came to be known as the “scattered people”. Seven more spirits more wicked than the first have moved in and dwelled there, because the Jews chose to believe the lies of their spiritual leaders, rather than believe in the Good News of salvation that God had brought when He became man. But Jesus had proven that He was the stronger man who had taken away the armor of Satan and freed humanity from the shackles of sin.
In today’s Gospel, our Lord teaches us that rather than being cynical and suspicious, we must learn to open our minds and hearts to the good that we see others are doing. A discerning mind trusts, and a compassionate heart believes, even when the ways are mysterious, and not familiar to our own.
Let me praise You, Lord, with all my being; it is only proper that we declare all Your wondrous deeds. I take delight and rejoice in Your goodness, Lord; come, let us sing hymns to the holy Name of our God!” (Psalm 9:2-3.)
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