The Gospel Today
Day of Prayer for the Legal Protection of Unborn Children
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. Herwyn T. Bulaun)
In any court of law, the consistency of the witness is very important. His account of the events that happened will either build up the case or destroy it. His statement must stand regardless of any tactics of cross examination. Any signs of flip-flopping will decrease the integrity of the person.
In today’s Gospel narrative, Jesus was accused by the Pharisees and the scribes to be the Beelzebul, the king of all lies. However, we could find in the life of Jesus no inconsistency between what He preached and the way that He lived them out. When He said to Peter to forgive limitlessly, indeed, He also practiced it; when after He was betrayed by his disciples He immediately forgave them. When Jesus said “blessed are the poor”, He never neglected any of the poor and He always treated them with grace. In the whole life of Jesus, He displayed a life that was consistent to the will of God in His obedience to the Father’s plan.
When I was assigned to assist Archbishop Florentino Lavarias, he always reminded me we can learn a lot from the poor. Further, He advised me that I should find time to be with the poor. Indeed, when he had time he would really spend moments with the poor. In fact, in all his pastoral visitations, he spent time for conversation with the poor members of the parishes, especially with those in the margins. He witnessed to what he said to me.
Whenever there is inconsistency the fruit of it will soon be discovered. One will have a different character or behavior depending on whom he is with. And in the process, the inconsistency will create contradictions which will either destroy the community or create division. Consistency of what we teach with our actions will attract others to the Church, not because of us, but because they see how the grace of God is manifested in us.