The Gospel Today
Friday of the Twenty-seventh Week in Ordinary Time
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 man is worse than the first.”
Reflection (Sem. Herwyn Bulaun):
You cannot be what you are not. A person sometimes acts differently from who he/she really is. This may happen at times but it will not take long and your true self will be revealed. Let us say a person cannot be called a “person of integrity” if his acts manifest that he compromises his principle by accepting bribe from his work. Another practical example, let us say a woman who built-up herself to her future in-laws that she is a very good cook. In fact, whenever she visits them she always brings with her some food which she tells that she personally cooked but in reality it was her mother who cooked it. But during one occasion in her future in-laws, she was invited to prepare for the occasion. She was asked to help in the preparation of the menu and at the same time lead the cooking. She didn’t come telling that she has a very important appointment. This pretention and lie was discovered when she was in her future in-laws and was requested to cook just simple “sinigang na bangus” and she cannot cook properly. She broke into tears and was forced to tell the truth.
Living in pretention and lies would be a life of sadness and disappointment as if wearing an invisible face mask. In today’s Gospel, the Pharisees said that the power of Jesus to drives-out demons comes from Beelzebul, the prince of demons. Jesus denounced this, and said that if a kingdom will be divided in itself, that kingdom will soon be destroyed. I believe the kingdom Jesus talked about in the Gospel refers to our very self. Our attitude should always poster truthfulness and fidelity regardless of the people and circumstance involve. Jesus for example, in all events of His earthly ministry, there was no single event that his words contradict his actions. The gospel challenges us that we should live our lives and to follow consistently and consciously Christ.