Daily Scriptures Reflection for 10/7/11

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Scripture: lectionary 465.  Joel 1:13-15; 2:1-2. Psalm 9:2-3.6.16.8-9. Luke
11:15-26

Friday’s Readings

Parables are ways in which Jesus makes us think.  The fact that over fifty
of them have been preserved in the Scriptures especially by Luke and
Matthew is a sign that we are listening to the living voice of Jesus
through them.  One Protestant Minister reminded me that he thinks that is
what is missing in most homilies and sermons. We hear the voice of the
preacher, minister, priest or deacon rather than the living voice of Jesus!

With the parables from Matthew that emphasize the Kingdom present now and
in the time to come and those of Luke which stress the compassion and mercy
of God we do hear the living voice of the Lord and our interpretation of
these parable should make it clear to the listeners that they must receive
the living voice through the transparent text speaking more than the
preacher.

We have some parable in Mark but they are few. John uses other symbolic
ways of presenting the voice of Jesus—especially through the “I AM” sayings
and through the imagery of vines and shepherds.

In the selection from Luke today Jesus is confronting the demon and also
those who do not accept his tremendous power over all demons including
Beelzebub (the Prince of demons, the Devil or Satan).  The thoughts and
judgments against Jesus are coming from his enemies who are not demons but
hardnosed people and leaders who point their finger at Jesus as being in
cooperation with Beelzebub the Prince of demons!  It is blasphemous on
their part.  Jesus confronts  both demons and such unbelievers who are
listening the biggest liar of them all, Satan.  To help them understand the
seriousness of their rash judgments about Jesus, he gives them several
parable like examples and wisdom sayings that corroborate what the parables
bring out in our pericope (passage).  Comparison and contrasts are
displayed in his examples and also the parable about the strong man over
against weaker people.  Jesus tells the listeners, “The one who is not with
me is against me, and the one who does not gather with me scatters.”

G.W.H.Lampe, one of the greatest of Greek studies in the Bible and the
Fathers of the Church has said this about our passage for today’s liturgy
from Luke: …”the miracles of Jesus were a sign, to refuse to recognize
which is bad as to ascribe them to Beelzebub (Satan or the Lord of the
flies). The demand for a sign is to try Jesus.  The coming of the Kingdom
means the defeat of the devil as ruler of this world. One either receives
the Kingdom or is repossessed by the evil spirit, returning to the house
from which the stronger had expelled it, and introducing seven other
spirits.”  “Lord, deliver us from the Evil One.” Amen.

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