Todays Gospel – 28.3.19
Gospel Luke 11:14-23
Know that the kingdom of God has overtaken you
Jesus was casting out a devil and it was dumb; but when the devil had gone out the dumb man spoke, and the people were amazed. But some of them said, ‘It is through Beelzebul, the prince of devils, that he casts out devils.’ Others asked him, as a test, for a sign from heaven; but, knowing what they were thinking, he said to them, ‘Every kingdom divided against itself is heading for ruin, and a household divided against itself collapses. So too with Satan: if he is divided against himself, how can his kingdom stand? – since you assert that it is through Beelzebul that I cast out devils. Now if it is through Beelzebul that I cast out devils, through whom do your own experts cast them out? Let them be your judges then. But if it is through the finger of God that I cast out devils, then know that the kingdom of God has overtaken you. So long as a strong man fully armed guards his own palace, his goods are undisturbed; but when someone stronger than he is attacks and defeats him, the stronger man takes away all the weapons he relied on and shares out his spoil.
  ‘He who is not with me is against me; and he who does not gath
Reflection:- (from evangeli.net)

Fr. Josep GASSÓ i Lécera
(Ripollet, Barcelona, Spain)

Today, in the proclamation of the Word of God, the figure of the devil appears once more: «One day Jesus was driving out a dumb demon» (Lk 11:14). Each time the texts speak of the devil, we feel, maybe, slightly uncomfortable. However, it is true evil exists, and it is so deeply rooted we cannot fully remove it. It is also true evil has a very broad scope: it keeps on “digging” and we simply cannot stop it. Yet, Jesus has come to fight these evil forces, to fight the devil. He is the only one who can drive him out.

Jesus has been slandered and accused: the devil is able to achieve everything. While the people were amazed at what Jesus Christ had done, «Yet, some of them said, ‘He drives out demons by the power of Beelzebub, the chief of the demons’» (Lk 11:15).

Jesus’ response shows the absurdity of the argument from those contradicting him. In passing, this answer means for us a call to unity, to the strength meant by the unity. Disunity, instead, is an evil and destructive ferment. One of the evil signs is, precisely, division and making us unable to understand each other. Unfortunately, the present world is marked by this type of evil spirit which prevents our understanding and recognition of one another.

It will be good for us to ponder over which should be our cooperation in this matter of “throwing out the devil”, or keeping off evil. Let’s wonder: do I contribute with what is needed so that our Lord expels evil from me? For «out of the heart come evil thoughts» (Mt 15:19). It is very important the response we can all give, that is, our necessary cooperation at a personal level.

Let’s hope the Virgin Mary intercedes before Jesus, her beloved Son, so that He expels any type of evil from the world (wars, terrorism, mistreatment, violence) and from our heart, too. Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church and Queen of Peace, pray for us!

When we come together at mass or other religious occasions, we are united in prayer, praying to fend off evil from within our world. Remember, where 2 or more are gathered in my name, I am there amongst them. The power of numbers, uniting in prayer. Never under estimate the power of prayer.