October 13, 2017
Friday of the 27th Week in Ordinary Time
The Gospel Today
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. Tristan Ralf Q. Pacheco)
“Every kingdom divided against itself will be laid waste and house will fall against house.”, said Jesus in the Gospel.
I remembered my short stint after graduating in college as a petroleum inspector, someone who acts as a third party and inspects in the discharge of petroleum from the barges and oil tankers into storage tanks in the refineries. My job led me to meet persons working long hours, sometimes even working 48 hours straight. These were also men of varied ages, who are far from their families. They only have few and short opportunities of going home since they spend most of their time at the sea or docked in refineries. They are nice and warm people, maybe because their being away from home for so long have made them excited to meet and talk with other people, especially those who, like me, are from outside their small worlds (the barges and tankers).
But I soon discovered a common amusement among them. Their talks are always peppered with worldly talks; impure ones. They like watching not so decent movies for their preoccupation. Back then, I was discerning serious about my faith, and my exposure to this part of my occupation had caused me great anxieties.
During the first few times I encountered such things, It was a serious struggle. But after some time, I was carried away and even participated, even as a passive listener, in those impure conversations, and in some instances, also joined in watching those kinds of films. During those times, I cannot reconcile my divided heart. I had thought: “How do this desire to be holy and attraction to the worldly things coexist?” I believed then, that if that life of contradiction I was living persist, I would destroy myself. I would be totally lost. Love of God cannot coexist with a life of sin. “Every kingdom divided against itself will be laid waste and a house will fall against a house.”
A few days before my paper for regularization was handed, I turned it down.