Today’s Gospel: Luke 11, 14-23
In this Gospel reading, Jesus drives a demon from a man and immediately, people within the crowd link the exorcism with false reason and purpose. They go so far as to attribute the healing to a demon! Jesus, using his usual calm, patient and loving candor and logic, explains that a house or kingdom divided against itself will fail, therefore, He could not have expelled a demon by the power of another demon. What purpose would that have served within the demon world? He explains that the healing was done “by the finger of God” and ends with the exhortation: “Whoever is not with me is against me and whoever does not gather with me scatters.” That’s a lot to consider.
Isn’t Jesus’ logic and forthrightness always amazing? That’s because His words are Truth! This explains why few others can be as totally convincing as Jesus when arguing against untruth. After all, Jesus is completely and utterly divinely inspired. But, even his human dimension is perfectly brilliant as well.
Another take away from this reading is that we need to study Jesus’ responses and use them when facing those who advocate falsehood. Not that any of us will be exorcising demons, but we are going to have to answer detractors who insist that God doesn’t have anything to do with today’s problems and solutions.
Jesus also warns of the consequences of division which will occur when we are not being obedient to the Will of God. A stronger one will plunder and scatter us. Who is this stronger person? It seems that Jesus is referring to himself in one sense and our enemy in another. John the Baptist declares that Jesus “is mightier than I.” [Luke 3:16]. If we yoke ourselves to Jesus, the stronger, we will be protected from evil! But if we refuse to yoke ourselves to Jesus, we will lose everything. The consequences of trusting in ourselves — rather than in God – are severe. We will be overtaken, our possessions will be plundered, our house will fall and we will face division. At the end, Jesus simply states it like it is: if we are not with him, we are against him. And whoever does not gather with Jesus will scatter.
This is his invitation to us. This is our call to evangelize others about our Faith. He is calling us to love as he loves. He is calling us to give witness to Hope and Truth. It is our call to become an active participant in God’s plan for salvation. And if we decide not to do anything for him, we will be acting against him. We will scatter rather than gather. Others will probably lose out on the opportunity to know, love and serve God because we helped scatter them.
Do others know whether you are for or against God? How do they know this? Why is division so harmful — whether it be in the Church, our families, communities or larger society? What and how do I scatter? What and how do I gather?
Lord, make me an instrument of Your peace. Where there is hatred, let me sow love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light; where there is sadness, joy. O, Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console; to be understood as to understand; to be loved as to love; For it is in giving that we receive; it is in pardoning that we are pardoned; it is in dying that we are born again to eternal life.
Copyright 2016 Linda Kracht
Fortifying Families of Faith – www.fortifyingfamiliesoffaith.com