"There is no problem, I tell you, no matter how difficult it is, that we cannot solve by the prayer of the Holy Rosary."--Sister Lucia, of the seers of Fatima
Gospel text (Lk 11,15-26):
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."
When Jesus cast out demons, some people reacted negatively. This still happens today. Jesus continues to drive out demons, and some respond by denying the devil's existence or at least the need for deliverance.
Even if we accept the Biblical and orthodox teaching about the devil, we may still be affected or "infected" by secular ideas. We may not take the devil seriously enough, thinking of him as only an evil force. However, he is a real enemy with great intelligence and personal attributes.
To win our battle against the devil (Eph 6:12), we must have a realistic view of him. We should not be terrified of the evil one, for we have authority over him (Mt 10:1). Yet we must recognize the devil as a formidable opponent, "a strong man fully armed," who must be disarmed and despoiled (Lk 11:21, 22).
Jesus is teaching us that it's good to clean house spiritually, but it's critical to press forward and grow in our faith. We can't be idle in the spiritual realm, or we'll be in worse shape than ever. A soldier on the front lines of the battlefield knows he cannot take a month off to take it easy. If he does, the enemy will soon realize he has no resistance. Soon the soldier will be overrun without mercy by the enemy (see Lk 11:22). This is why Jesus, referring to spiritual warfare, says: "He who is not with Me is against Me, and he who does not gather with Me scatters" (Lk 11:23).
Let Jesus clean your soul. Then fight the good fight of faith by growing "in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ" (2 Pt 3:18; 2 Tm 4:7). Instead of being content with empty, let Jesus give you life to the full (Jn 10:10). Fill your mind with God's Word; fill your mouth with the Eucharist, the Bread of Life (Jn 6:35). Then fill the world with your godly teaching (Acts 5:28) and your praise of God.
"Fix your eyes on Jesus" (Heb 3:1), but don't fail to notice the serpent at your feet.