The Gospel Today
Memorial of St. Thomas Aquinas, Priest and Doctor of the Church
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 spirit.”
Reflection (Sem. Primitivo Eublera, Jr.):
Today’s Gospel reminds us of the power of Jesus to cast out demons. But Our Lord is not able to escape the accusations of the Scribes that he drove away demons by the power of Beelzebul, the prince of demons. Of which Jesus replies beautifully that a kingdom which is divided cannot stand by itself. Likewise, if the devil is divided by itself then that will be its end.
The Gospel did not only show Jesus’ power over the evil spirits, but more so, it clearly showed that evil spirits are roaming around. I remembered when I was in a lay mission in Mindanao, particularly in Zamboanga. While the healing Mass was being conducted there was this lady who was being subjected into a kind of “deliverance” for it was discerned that there was this presence of an evil spirit in her. It was a long struggle between the priest who was given the faculty to perform “deliverance” with his prayer warriors against that lady who was said to possess evil spirit. Finally, it was known that the lady was cohabiting a man not her husband. Therefore, she was living in a state of sin.
It is also very true today. When the notion of sin is lost in the world, the devil easily finds its way to destroy us, our families, relations, and even institutions. As I personally observe our society today, it is becoming worse. It is a reality that we have in our midst an increasing number of broken families plus the fact that we are battling a war against the promoters of this widely publicized RH Bill.
This is not a joke! We must armor ourselves with the complete trust in the Most Holy Name of Jesus, the chief exorcist. By always living in a state of grace through the Sacraments of the Church especially the Sacrament of Reconciliation, certainly we can easily defeat our enemies who are just prowling around like a roaring lion.
May the Blessed Mother and St. Thomas Aquinas, the angelic doctor intercede for us. Amen!