Gospel: Luke 11:15-26
Yet some of them said, “He drives out demons by the power of Beelzebul, the chief of the demons.” 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 empire is coming to an end. How can you say that I drive out demons by calling upon Beelzebul? If I drive them out by Beelzebul, by whom do your sons drive out demons? They will be your judges, then. But if 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 a man, strong and well armed, guards his house, his goods are safe. But when a stronger man 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. They move in and settle there, so that the last state of that person is worse than the first.”

Reflections
“Whoever is not with me is against me.”
I was a college student in UP Los Baños when the celebrated 1993 abduction-cum-murder case of two students happened. In 2006, I returned there to pursue doctoral studies. One evening in 2007, our house of studies was in a bedlam when some agitated students came re- questing for priests; one female student was allegedly possessed and kept babbling a female name. When we inquired of the name, I was taken aback. It was the name of the female student murdered in 1993! As to how a 2007 student knew of that 1993 student, I do not know. When some fellow priests decided to go with the students, I opted to stay. I only learned later that it was not a real possession.
Our gospel today contains an objective affirmation of the possibility of possessions. Evil forces can intrude and make a mess of our lives. They are tough and will never give up. The point is we need to be stronger and tougher. We need to possess firm faith, because the key to victory is to be on the side of Christ and not against him.

© Copyright Bible Diary 2019