Now he was casting out a demon that was mute; when the demon had gone out, the one who had been mute spoke, and the crowds were amazed. But some of them said, “He casts out demons by Beelzebul, the ruler of the demons.” Others, to test him, kept demanding from him a sign from heaven. But he knew what they were thinking and said to them, “Every kingdom divided against itself becomes a desert, and house falls on house. If Satan also is divided against himself, how will his kingdom stand? —for you say that I cast out the demons by Beelzebul.
Now if I cast out the demons by Beelzebul, by whom do your exorcists cast them out? Therefore they will be your judges. But if it is by the finger of God that I cast out the demons, then the kingdom of God has come to you. When a strong man, fully armed, guards his castle, his property is safe. But when one stronger than he attacks him and overpowers him, he takes away his armor in which he trusted and divides his plunder. Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
In today’s Gospel, Jesus preempts the onlookers’ questions and tests by using some theological logic to explain how he was able to drive out demons. He talks about how if a house was divided against itself, then “house will fall against house.” This line was then famously used by Abraham Lincoln in the midst of the Civil War as a plea for unity. Jesus used it to defend his actions, but I think for us today, the unity interpretation is very important.
We live in a time with many divisions, but I think it is important to realize that our house hasn’t fallen. We are a strong country and a strong people. For us at SLUH, we are surrounded by a strong faith and a strong community. Opinions may differ, but a hope and desire to serve others should always be what drives our actions. May we recognize unity in how people are trying to help one another, a unity that keeps our house together.
–Thomas Leeker, ‘17 is a member of the Senior Pastoral Team at St. Louis U. High.
Dear Jesus, help me to spread your fragrance everywhere I go. Flood my soul with your spirit and life. Penetrate and possess my whole being so utterly that all my life may only be a radiance of yours. Shine through me and be so in me that every soul I come in contact with may feel your presence in my soul. Let them look up and see no longer me but only Jesus! Stay with me and then I shall begin to shine as you shine, so to shine as to be a light to others; the light, O Jesus, will be all from you; none of it will be mine: it will be you shining on others through me. Let me thus praise you in the way you love best: by shining on those around me. Let me preach you without preaching, not by words, but by my example, by the catching force, the sympathetic influence of what I do, the evident fullness of the love my heart bears to you.
—“Radiating Christ,” John Henry Cardinal NewmanPlease share the Good Word with your friends!