When Jesus had driven out a demon, some of the crowd said, “By the power of Beelzebul, 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 Beelzebul that I drive out demons. If I, then, drive out demons by Beelzebul, 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. When an unclean spirit goes out of someone, it roams through arid regions searching for rest but, finding none, it says, ‘I shall return to my home from which I came.’ But upon returning, it finds it swept clean and put in order. Then it goes and brings back seven other spirits more wicked than itself who move in and dwell there, and the last condition of that person is worse than the first.”( Luke 11:15-26)
It seems to me that our world grows more and more intolerant. Far too often, we tend to ignore the right other people have to dissent, to be different and to have their own positions, whether different or even in direct opposition to ours. Confrontation degenerates into affront and aggressiveness. This climate of mutual zealotry and violent rejection may then lead us to the temptation of somehow eliminating he who appears to be our rival.
When that environment exists, people do not realize that their spiritual perception has atrophied from failing to use it. That happens in this Gospel passage when the Pharisees do not see the good that Jesus has done and attribute it to the Evil One.
Today, more than ever, we need to be alert to spiritual blindness. The spiritual reality is that we are in the hands of God. He is forever with us. He asks us to love Him and to build His spiritual kingdom while we are on this earth.
How do we do that? Augustine of Hippo said that our lives have a God-shaped void which only God can fill satisfactorily. If we attempt to leave it vacant or to fill it with something else, we will end up being in a worse state in the end.
The Lord Jesus wants to fill our hearts and minds with the power of his life-giving word and healing love. Jesus makes it very clear that there are no neutral parties in this world. We are either for Jesus or against him, for the kingdom of God or against it. There are ultimately only two kingdoms which stand in opposition to one another – the kingdom of God and the kingdom of darkness which is under the rule of Satan. If we want to live in true freedom, then our “house” (the inner core of our true being) must be occupied by Jesus where he is enthroned as Lord and Savior. The Lord assures us of his protection from spiritual harm and he gives us the help and strength we need to resist the devil and his lies (James 4:7). “Because you have made the Lord your refuge, the Most High your habitation, no evil shall befall you, no scourge come near your tent. For he will give his angels charge of you to guard you in all your ways”(Psalm 91:9-11).
Prayer of The Day
“Lord Jesus, be the ruler of my heart and the master of my home. May there be nothing in my life that works to destroy the bond that we have.”
We must be careful not to allow deceitful/envious and other negative emotions to takes root in our hearts for these are temptations that originate from the devil. We should instead fill our hearts and minds with thoughts that are Godly. Of course, we must choose to be with Jesus for this is always the correct choice. If we are not for Jesus, then we are against Jesus there’s no middle ground.