A reading from the gospel according to Luke 11:15-26
15 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.”
16 Others, to test him, asked him for a sign from heaven.
17 But he knew their thoughts and said to them, “Every kingdom divided against itself will be laid waste and house will fall against house.
18 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.
19 If I, then, drive out demons by Beelzebul, by whom do your own people drive them out? Therefore they will be your judges.
20 But if it is by the finger of God that I drive out demons, then the Kingdom of God has come upon you.
21 When a strong man fully armed guards his palace, his possessions are safe.
22 But when one stronger than he attacks and overcomes him, he takes away the armor on which he relied and distributes the spoils.
23 Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters.
24 “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.’
25 But upon returning, it finds it swept clean and put in order.
26 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: Unity and Disunity
Good news: Jesus has the power to drive out demon.
Jesus came down to earth to unite the people and establish His Kingdom. Part of this project is to set the people free from the enslavement of satan who causes them to sin and suffer. That is why there are many instances in the bible of Jesus casting out demons from individuals. The gospel reading above is an example. Yet some people accused Jesus Himself as an instrument of the prince of demons. Jesus used this occasion to preach about the unity in the Kingdom of God.
“Divide and Rule” is a powerful tactic or strategy to destroy the enemy. Satan and demons use this method to stop or defeat the Kingdom of God as established by Jesus. They will use everything to dissociate people from God and from one another. They are happy seeing people fight each other even over trivial matters. They will subtly tempt persons of good intention to become doubtful of themselves and to suspect one another of ill motives. This will cause confusion and division. Thus the work of redemption is sadly affected. They are at work to attract people to their side and to sow wickedness everywhere. They will use anyone, wittingly or unwittingly, including church people to advance their cause. Woe to people who allow themselves to be used by these fallen angels.
When we are divided, we know Satan is at work. When people in the Church are constantly opposed to each other, the church will not last long. However, we give thanks to God because He is stronger than any kingdom, power or authority. He will never allow Satan to triumph within His Church (Matthew16:18).
“United we stand, divided we fall” and “In union, there is strength” are old maxims. For the Kingdom of God to be fully realized, we need to stand united with Jesus our Lord and savior in order to crush the effort of the enemy to divide us. His name is powerful enough for the devil to tremble and flee. Let us stand on guard against disunity among believers. More importantly, let us always invoke the name of Jesus to cast out the demons among us and within us.