Being A Disciple Is Not For The Faint of Heart
Daily Reflection – 3/28/19
Jesus was driving out a demon that was mute, and when the demon had gone out, the mute person spoke and the crowds were amazed. Some of them said, “By the power of Beelzebub, the prince of demons, he drives out demons.” Others, to test him, asked him for a sign from heaven. But he knew their thoughts and said to them, “Every kingdom divided against itself will be laid waste and house will fall against house. And if Satan is divided against himself, how will his kingdom stand? For you say that it is by Beelzebub that I drive out demons. If I, then, drive out demons by Beelzebub, by whom do your own people drive them out? Therefore, they will be your judges. But if it is by the finger of God that I drive out demons, then the Kingdom of God has come upon you. When a strong man fully armed guards his palace, his possessions are safe. But when one stronger than he attacks and overcomes him, he takes away the armor on which he relied and distributes the spoils. Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters.” (Luke 11:14-23)
The Gospel speaks of a man who was mute as a result of a demon. When this demon was driven out by Jesus, the mute man spoke, and many were amazed. Most likely this man was fully possessed by this demon and the oppression he experienced disabled his ability to even speak. Upon his release from this demonic influence, he spoke freely. Some were amazed with the miracle, others were dubious and accused Jesus of casting out devils by the power and name of Beelzebub, the prince of devils. Still others ignored what was happening and demand a sign from heaven. We can find ourselves in any of these categories, sometimes in more than one at the same time.
Though we may not experience demonic influence to the same degree, we are often hindered and oppressed by similar mute spirits. The evil one often tries to influence us in such a way that we are fearful of proclaiming the Gospel freely, sincerely and immediately to those who are in most need of the message God wants communicated to them. I have lost count of the times that I have heard Christians say: “My faith is strong but I am not comfortable with speaking out about my faith.” So the chance to bring the message of Christ to someone in need may be lost.
Or we are silenced when the words from our mouth are not matched by the actions of our life. Our relationship with God is defined by our love for Him. That love is expressed in doing what He commanded us to do. Obedience strengthens us against evil. The observation of St. Paul again comes to mind. “For I do not do the good I want to do, but I practice the very evil that I do not want.” (Rom. 7:19)
During Lent, we can listen to a lot of sermons, attend recollections, go on a retreat, and read about fasting, etc., but most of our battles can only be won by our desire and active resistance to evil. We should never relinquish our control of our selves. And we must recognize God’s presence and inspiration in His Spirit. Temptations abound and come in different ways and different strengths. God gave us all the gifts to withstand them. Only when we give in will they become sins and defeat us.
Prayer of The Day
Lord, at times I am given over to fear when You call me to speak Your words of love to those in need. Please free me, dear Lord, to be a holy instrument of Your Word. Let that love be manifest in my pride of speaking out about you and in the loving way I lead my life. Amen.
If we claim that we are for Jesus, we must recognize that it is not just something we say but rather it is a complete way of life. It is an obligation from which we cannot shy away from because when we refuse to make the commitment to live this way of life then, at that moment, we put up a barrier to a closer union with God. The longer that barrier stays up, the more likely it will be that it will become a wall between us and eternal life with Him.
- Posted in: Reflections