A sign from heaven

Published October 8, 2020, 8:00 PM

by Manila Bulletin

In the midst of a peripatetic mission, Jesus is alternately exorcising evil spirits and being asked for another sign from heaven. Those who witness Him expel a demon from a dumb man do not put their faith in Him. They put a slur on Jesus’ reputation as a healer and an exorcist, and they charge that Jesus is working with Beelzebul, the prince of darkness.
Jesus succeeds in loosening the tongue of a dumb man unable to speak. Unfortunately, the demon of unbelief starts many other tongues wagging. Rather than appreciate and be grateful for the healing, His critics seek to put Jesus in a bad light by malicious insinuations and baseless accusations. Jesus counters by pointing to their illogical conclusion: How can He be in league with Beelzebul and at the same time expel a demon?

Gospel • LUKE 11:15-26

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.”

SOURCE: “366 Days with the Lord 2020,” ST. PAULS, 7708 St. Paul Rd., SAV, Makati City (Phils.); Tel.: 632-895-9701; Fax 632-895-7328; E-mail: [email protected]; Website: http://www.stpauls.ph.