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Trust and Be Free
Gospel Reflection for January 23, 2023
“The scribes who had come from Jerusalem said, ‘He is possessed by Beelzebul,’ and ‘By the prince of demons he drives out demons.’”
Summoning them, he began to speak to them in parables, ‘How can Satan drive out Satan? If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. And if a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand. And if Satan has risen up against himself and is divided, he cannot stand; that is the end of him. But no one can enter a strong man’s house to plunder his property unless he first ties up the strong man. Then he can plunder his house. Amen, I say to you, all sins and all blasphemies that people utter will be forgiven them. But whoever blasphemes against the holy Spirit will never have forgiveness, but is guilty of an everlasting sin.’ For they had said, ‘He has an unclean spirit.’” (Mark 3:22-30 NABRE)
In today’s Gospel, the scribes were skeptical of Jesus and called His power and authority into question. They accused Him of being possessed by a demon and sought to undermine His miraculous works. Not only did these critics come from Jerusalem, which was the capital of Judaism, but they were also scribes, meaning that they were masters of the Law, ready to employ their knowledge to take Jesus down.
After they made their bold statement that Jesus was possessed, however, and explained their reasoning, Jesus, the fulfillment of the very Law which they knew so well, called them over to Him.
Jesus then eloquently explained the erroneousness of their argument and used logic to demonstrate the faultiness of their claims. Why would Satan seek to attack himself? A person who goes against himself, will eventually cause the end of himself. Thus, Jesus made it clear that He obviously could not be possessed.
Further, the Lord goes on to say that in order to plunder the house of a strong man, that man must first be tied up. Whereas Satan will try to have Jesus bound and killed, in order to plunder the Lord’s house and the souls therein, Jesus will ultimately prove to be the stronger man and will not remain tied up.
Through His resurrection, the Lord defeated death and thereby plundered Satan’s house by winning salvation for the whole world.
Today’s Gospel message calls us to trust in the power and authority of the Lord. Though Satan may try to “tie” us up in this life, there is nothing that Jesus can’t free us from if it be His will.
“If you say, ‘The Lord is my refuge,’
and you make the Most High your dwelling,
no harm will overtake you,
no disaster will come near your tent.
For he will command his angels concerning you
to guard you in all your ways;
they will lift you up in their hands,
so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.
‘Because he loves me,’ says the Lord, ‘I will rescue him;
I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.
He will call on me, and I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble,
I will deliver him and honor him.
With long life I will satisfy him
and show him my salvation.’” (Psalm 91:9-12, 14-15)