Friday, October 11, 2013

“Lukewarm acceptance is more bewildering than outright rejection.”

Christianity if false is of no importance and if true is of infinite importance but it can’t be moderately important. - C. S. Lewis

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.

There is a common saying that “when our minds are made up, we don’t like being confused with facts”. The minds of Jesus’ adversaries had been made up for some time, so the fact that Jesus had just driven out a demon confused them. Yet Jesus chooses to take the opportunity to expand the issue: “whoever is not for me is against me”. No room for sitting on the fence. The late Cardinal Leo J. Suenens once remarked that, faced with Jesus, one would have to take a position for or against him and that pretending not to take a position is already taking a position; that neutrality is wishful thinking and just words.

Regardless of our word positions, our lives make a strong statement.

In Ralph W. Emerson’s words, “what you do speaks so loudly, that it does not let me hear what you say”. Inconsistency between our words and our lives’ deeds could put us in the predicament of sounding somewhat like suffering from split spiritual personality: for and against. Therefore, with the help of God’s grace, we need to strive to live (with a capital “L”) our Catholic faith and be consistent in all (with a capital “A”) the areas of our life.

By his cross, Jesus triumph over evil. But that victory continues to work itself out as history advances toward his second coming. We have the Holy Spirit living in us. We have the “armor of God” to defend us (Ephesians 6:11). And we have the Church, the bulwark of God’s truths and protection. We have everything we need!

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