15, మార్చి 2023, బుధవారం

 

Thursday of the Third Week of Lent

Jeremiah 7:23-28

Luke 11:14-23

 

Choose today- The Kingdom of God or The Kingdom of Satan

 

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ Jesus, Jesus had performed many healings and several exorcisms. There are several instances that Jesus freed those troubled and oppressed souls. In today’s Gospel instance people who witnessed however attributed it to the power  of satan not to the power of the Holy Spirit.

 

The Accusation: Some people, especially the leaders who were always against him, reacted negatively and accused him of resorting to Satan’s power to cast out evil spirits; they claimed that He gains His power and authority from Satan; that He is associated with Belzaboul,satan. They tried to defame him and slander him. They attributed it to Satan rather than the power of God.

The Anwer: Jesus makes two interesting arguments.

1.      According to today's reading, we get a glimpse that there are among their own who cast out demons which are attributed to God. Jesus makes a counter argument that  by associating his exorcism to the power of satan, they naturally attribute their own to Satan. If they are accusing Jesus they are accusing and  denouncing their own people. There is a hypocrisy and double standard here.

2.      In his second argument, Jesus says that"Every kingdom divided against itself will be laid waste and house will fall against house.” If the household, society, nation, the kingdom or satan turn against their own people, land, or the force, it is finished. It results in destruction and annihilation of its own existence. This can not be so. This would never happen.

 

Jesus made it clear that it is through the power and authority of God that He casts out evil spirits; and brings healing and freedom from sin and satan. The presence of power and authority of God is clearly present in all the healings and exorcisms which point towards the kingdom of God.

At the end of the Gospel, jesus makes a pressing statement that Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters.'' It is either we belong to Jesus or against him; either we belong to God’ kingdom or to the kingdom of satan; either to the light or to the darkness.

This is what the first reading of the day reminds us, Prophet Jeremiah reminds the people to Listen to God and obey that they may prosper and be children of God. with God there is life and prosperity; healing and liberation; peace and security.

But the people turned against God and refused to follow and be faithful to his commandments, thus they were scattered. They are in need of liberation.

 

Dear Brothers and Sisters, therefore the readings invite us to question where do we stand? Do I stand with Jesus or with evil spirits/Satan?

Do I believe Jesus or refuse to ignore?

Let us reflect and answer ourselves.  

 

I am the LORD, the God of all the living! Is anything too difficult for me? (Jeremiah 32:27)

Then Jesus approached and said to them, “All power in heaven and on earth has been given to me. (Matthew 28:18)


FR. JAYARAJU MANTHENA OCD

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