January 23, 2012
Monday of the Third Week in Ordinary
Listen to the podcast version here.
The scribes who had come from Jerusalem said
of Jesus, “He is possessed by Beelzebul,” and “By the
prince of demons he drives out demons.” Summoning them, he
began to speak to them in parables, "How can Satan
drive out Satan? If a kingdom is divided against itself,
that kingdom cannot stand. And if a house is divided
against itself, that house will not be able to stand.
And if Satan has risen up against himself and is
divided, he cannot stand; that is the end of him.
But no one can enter a strong man’s house to
plunder his property unless he first ties up the strong
man. Then he can plunder his house. Amen, I say
to you, all sins and all blasphemies that people utter
will be forgiven them. But whoever blasphemes against the Holy
Spirit will never have forgiveness, but is guilty of an
everlasting sin." For they had said, "He has an unclean
Introductory Prayer: Lord, I believe that you are
the source of all goodness. I know that your goodness
is both a challenge and a promise. I trust that
your goodness will envelop me if I allow myself to
be found by you. I love you for wanting to
fight the battle against evil for my sake.
Lord, help me not to be afraid of the battle
1. Not Indifferent: With Jesus on earth,
another world becomes evident around us: the world of evil
spirits. Jesus has come to take control of the kingdom.
The devils are in a panic and begin to lose
ground. Jesus is a threat to evil. His goodness, truth
and holiness are capable of putting the devils into submission.
When Christ takes a stronger hold on my life, things
begin to change. Do I let Christ challenge evil in
my heart? In the world around me?
One of Them: Jesus brings change. But change is not
evil per se. The change that Jesus brings is good,
since he comes to put demons in their place, bringing
about good. This awakening of the good worries the devil.
The conquest over evil is not always done in peace
and tranquility. Does the spiritual opposition I face as I
try to overcome evil in my life cause me to
hesitate in the fight or to wish that Jesus and
his teachings would not be so demanding? Do I realize
that facing difficulties is a sign of growth in Christian
authenticity? Do I let the goodness of Christ radically define
my life? Even in the face of opposition?
Only Good: Think of the joy that people experienced when
Jesus freed them from the power of the Evil One.
Think of the joy we feel after making a good
confession, attending a good retreat or progressing in virtue. Jesus
comes into our life to bring the joy of freedom
from evil. He is God’s goodness made flesh. Do I
rejoice to have Christ as my friend? Do I try
to listen to his teachings with a willing heart, thankful
for the chance I have to abide in God’s heart
by living the life of grace? What an amazing friend
I have! I can trust in his power to lead
me along the path of life.
Conversation with Christ:
Christ, I know that you are more powerful than evil.
Help me to face up to evil in my life,
encouraged by your friendship and strength. In your name Lord,
I will walk with confidence.
Resolution: I will
do something to share my faith with others today.