27TH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME
Psalter: Week 3 / (Green)
Ps 111:1b-2, 3-4, 5-6
The Lord will remember his covenant forever.
1st Reading: Gal 3:7-14
Understand, then, that those who follow the way of faith are sons and daughters of Abraham.
The Scriptures foresaw that, by the way of faith, God would give true righteousness to the non-Jewish nations. For God’s promise to Abraham was this: In you shall all the nations be blessed. So, now, those who take the way of faith receive the same blessing as Abraham, who believed; but those who rely on the practice of the law are under a curse, for it is written: Cursed is everyone who does not always fulfill everything written in the law.
It is plainly written that no one becomes righteous in God’s way, by the law: by faith the righteous shall live. Yet the law gives no place to faith, for according to it: the one who fulfills the commandments shall have life through them.
Now Christ rescued us from the curse of the law, by becoming cursed himself, for our sake, as it is written: there is a curse on everyone who is hanged on a tree. So the blessing granted to Abraham, reached the pagan nations in, and with Christ, and we received the promised Spirit, through faith.
Gospel: Lk 11:15-26
Yet some of them said, “He drives out demons by the power of Beelzebul, the chief of the demons.” Others wanted to put him to the test, by asking him for a heavenly sign.
But Jesus knew their thoughts, and said to them, “Every nation divided by civil war is on the road to ruin, and will fall. If Satan also is divided, his empire is coming to an end. How can you say that I drive out demons by calling upon Beelzebul? If I drive them out by Beelzebul, by whom do your sons drive out demons? They will be your judges, then.
But if I drive out demons by the finger of God; would not this mean that the kingdom of God has come upon you? As long as a man, strong and well-armed, guards his house, his goods are safe. But when a stronger man attacks and overcomes him, the challenger takes away all the weapons he relied on, and disposes of his spoils.
Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me, scatters.
When the evil spirit goes out of a person, it wanders through dry lands, looking for a resting place; and finding none, it says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came.’ When it comes, it finds the house swept and everything in order. Then it goes to fetch seven other spirits, even worse than itself. They move in and settle there, so that the last state of that person is worse than the first.”
Jesus shows the self-defeating elements in his opponents‘ charges. A kingdom that is divided by internal rivalries cannot last. And, Jesus asks his accusers, when their own people drive out demons, by whose power do they do it? “But if it is by the finger of God that I cast out devils, then the reign of God is among you.“ There can be no laxity or indifference where Jesus is concerned. We have to make our choice – for him or against. Not to choose is itself a choice – against him. Put differently, the choice is between life driven by fear or life inspired by mercy. The new life that is given has to be actively filled with the Spirit of Jesus. The daily question we need to ask is “What do you fill the void in your life with?“ It is easy to look for things to fill the restlessness within. It is easy to get addicted with our computers and cellphones, with anything that distracts from centering our lives. Jesus wants to fill our hearts and minds with the power of his life-giving word and healing love. If we want to live in true freedom, then our “house“ (our heart) has to be a place where Jesus is the center of our lives.
Daily Reflection 2018
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