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Mar 30th
Home Sections The Daily B.R.E.A.D. Oct 9, 2009 - Friday Meditation (The Finger of God!)
Oct 9, 2009 - Friday Meditation (The Finger of God!) PDF Print E-mail
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Saturday, 03 October 2009 15:25

We should not judge others rashly for what they are doing as if they do it for selfish reasons.  We should acknowledge “the finger of God” which is in the good works of others and not be so judgmental.


Friday of the 27th Week in Ordinary Time

Joel 1:13-15; 2:1-2

Psalm 9:2-3, 6 and 16, 8-9

L uke 11:15-26  But some of them said, "He casts out demons by Be-el'zebul, the prince of demons"; (16) while others, to test him, sought from him a sign from heaven. (17) But he, knowing their thoughts, said to them, "Every kingdom divided against itself is laid waste, and a divided household falls. (18) And if Satan also is divided against himself, how will his kingdom stand? For you say that I cast out demons by Be-el'zebul. (19) And if I cast out demons by Be-el'zebul, by whom do your sons cast them out? Therefore they shall be your judges. (20) But if it is by the finger of God that I cast out demons, then the kingdom of God has come upon you. (21) When a strong man, fully armed, guards his own palace, his goods are in peace; (22) but when one stronger than he assails him and overcomes him, he takes away his armor in which he trusted, and divides his spoil. (23) He who is not with me is against me, and he who does not gather with me scatters. (24) "When the unclean spirit has gone out of a man, he passes through waterless places seeking rest; and finding none he says, `I will return to my house from which I came.' (25) And when he comes he finds it swept and put in order. (26) Then he goes and brings seven other spirits more evil than himself, and they enter and dwell there; and the last state of that man becomes worse than the first.


Meditation by Paul Mahowald, S.J.

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? -- Lk 11: 11-19


We are familiar with the several times the gospels have some sort of criticism of Jesus’ healing and driving demons out of possessed people.  In Luke’s gospel, it is not the usual suspects, the scribes and Pharisees, that Jesus is responding to but rather to the crowd who witnessed the event.  Some in the crowd say it is by Beelzebul that Jesus heals the man: others say it was to test him, to ask for a sign from heaven.  Jesus counters by challenging them to answer his question: “If Satan is divided against himself how will his kingdom stand?”


The crowd then hears Jesus describe the two Kingdoms in the event: the Kingdom of God versus the kingdom of Satan.


“Whoever is not with me is against me ….”  Luke 11:23


Jesus invites those who follow him to do so completely and without compromise.  Our act of contrition in the sacrament of reconciliation states that we “firmly resolve, with the help of God’s grace, to confess our sins, to do penance and to amend our life.”  This is the theme of Luke’s gospel: that we wholeheartedly follow him as his disciples.


For those who seek a sign from heaven, Luke’s gospel just ten verses earlier gives us Jesus’ version of the Lord’s prayer which ends with “and do not put us [God] to the test!”


How does this exorcism healing story apply to my life?  Certainly I should not “test God”, i.e., to presume that I have questionable and valid issues about how God is working with me.  God is God and I am not!  There is too often a sinful attitude of presumption when I don’t trust God and over value my own judgment in how God works with me.  I need to have that attitude that God is loving and working for me but in ways at times too mysterious for me to understand.


And for those who question from where Jesus gets his power and authority to heal others and rid them of the devils that inhibit them, we should trust in the Lord, have faith in him even if we don’t understand.  We should not judge others rashly for what they are doing as if they do it for selfish reasons.  We should acknowledge “the finger of God” which is in the good works of others and not be so judgmental.


In this gospel story we see Jesus teaching us to see the difference between the Kingdom of God and the kingdom of the devil.  We need to take up our cross and follow him – completely.




Supplementary Reading



Thus says the Lord of hosts: Consider your ways! – Haggai 1:7


My co-leaders and I were scheduled to attend an affair so the company van was reserved for us. But my supervisor’s colleague was in the front seat when the van arrived to pick us up. He asked if he could be dropped at his destination 30 minutes away.

         Since our destination was only 15 minutes away and there were two members in the group who had cars, I decided to let him take the van while our group used the cars. A company driver who learned about the incident reported it to my supervisor who quickly confronted his colleague and accused him of taking the van from us. Naturally, the latter denied it. Consequently, they had a fight.

Only after the squabble did my supervisor ask me what happened. I told him what transpired but it was too late. By then, the damage had been done.

If we do not consider our ways, if we do not carefully examine our behavior, if we do not act with prudence, we can dent relationships and even cause others to sin. -- Cristy Galang



Am I inclined to act impulsively? Do I need help to learn to be more deliberate in my ways?

Examine me, Lord, and bring to my awareness the areas that I need to change. Help me to live a righteous life. Amen.


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Last Updated on Thursday, 08 October 2009 07:17

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