The devil’s snare
Friday, October 13, 2017 27th Week in Ordinary Time 1st Reading: Jl 1:13-15; 2:1-2 Gospel: Luke 11:15-26
When Jesus was casting out a devil some of the people said, “He drives out demons by the power of Beelzebul, the chief of the demons.” So others wanted to put him to the test by asking him for a heavenly sign.
But Jesus knew their thoughts and said to them, “Every nation divided by civil war is on the road to ruin, and will fall. If Satan also is divided, his em pire is coming to an end. How can you say that I drive out demons by calling upon Bee lze bul? If I drive them out by Beelzebul, by whom do your fellow mem bers drive out demons? They will be your judge, then.
“But suppose I drive out demons by the finger of God; would not this mean that the kingdom of God has come upon you? As long as the strong and armed man guards his house, his goods are safe. But when a stronger one attacks and overcomes him, the challenger takes away all the weapons he relied on and disposes of his spoils.
“Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me, scatters.
“When the evil spirit goes out of a person, it wanders through dry lands looking for a resting place. And finding none, it says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came.’ When it comes, it finds the house swept and everything in order. Then it goes to fetch seven other spirits even worse than itself. Theymove in and settle there, so that the last state of that person is worse than the first.”
D@iGITAL-EXPERIENCE (Daily Gospel in the Assimilated Life Experience)
If Jesus were in cahoots with the devil his preoccupation would have been other than expelling devils. God and the devil will never unite because their natures are poles apart. The Cebuano concept of the devil reflected in the term “panulay” (devil) reflects how the devil’s nature is irreconcilable with God’s.
The root word of “Panulay” (devil) is “Su-lay”. The word “Su-lay”, in turn, is short for “sukod” (measure) and “budlay” (dedication leading to perseverance). Panulay (devil) therefore, in the mind of Cebuanos, is one who measures the extent of our dedication to persevere in faith. God too measures the extent of our dedication to persevere. The difference is that the devil does this in order to break us apart, while God does so to hone us and bring out the best in us. The difference boils down to how God and the devil differ in the way they value human beings.
Because God and the devil are poles apart in the way they value human beings, God and the devil will never join forces. How then could the Pharisees have accused Jesus of operating by the power of the devil?
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