Gather in Faith, Scatter in Lies


Luke 11: 15-26
Jl 1:13-15;2:1-2 / Psa 9

Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters.
(Luke 11:23)

If we see evil in good deeds,
For what good did God give us eyes?
One cannot harvest grain from weeds,
Nor truth be overcome by lies.

Some of them 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)

Reflection

The leaders of the Jews (the Pharisees and high priests) at that time would rather be in the dark than accept the power of Jesus as divine. They schemed and spread lies that up to the present time only served to scatter the Jews as a nation. Their lies could have put a perpetual curse of conflicts and wars on the land of the “chosen people”, Israel, because they rejected the Messiah, Jesus Christ, as the Risen Savior. Thus, 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 prophesied, historically, the “Chosen People” came to be known as the “scattered people”. Seven other spirits more wicked than the first have moved in and dwelled there, because the Jews chose to believe the lies of their religious leaders, rather than accept and believe in the Good News of salvation that God had brought when He became man.

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. Sometimes, a traumatic experience has to happen before a skeptical person begins to undergo a spiritual transformation. A brother in our community, who was once an avowed atheist, shared how the Lord gathered him to join the fold. He began his “journey to Damascus” and experienced a change of heart about God’s existence when he was stricken with pneumonia, and his life teetered on the edge of death. A Bible-bearing officemate prayed over him and he was miraculously healed (completely) after a few days. He saw how meaningless his former life had been, and how God’s healing power not only removed his illness, but expelled the evil spirit of unbelief from his heart.

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) Amen.

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