Friday, October 10, 2014
27th Week in Ordinary Time
1st Reading: Gal 3:7-14
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 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 fellow members 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. They move in and settle there, so that the last state of that person is worse than the first.”
(Daily Gospel in the Assimilated Life Experience)
If Jesus were in cahoots with the devil his preoccupation would have been other than expelling demons, for a devil will never oust himself. God and the devil will never unite because their natures are poles apart. The Cebuano concept of the devil reveals how his nature is irreconcilable with God’s.
Cebuanos love to combine words. Let’s review some examples. “Ulitawo” (uli + tawo) is one who is of age and is capable of paying back (uli) to the world another man (tawo) through procreation. “Bata” (short for bag-o + tawo) is a child – a new (bag-o) person (tawo) to this world. “Tiguwang” (tig-uwang) refers to a mature person to whom society has assigned the role (tig) of pacifying (uwang) people who are quarrelling.
Devil is called “panulay” in Cebuano. Its root word is “sulay”, a combination of “sukod” (measure) and “budlay” (dedication applied in order to persevere). In this context “panulay” (devil) is one who measures how dedicated we are to what we believe. This is where the devil and God part ways. God tests us to make us stronger. The devil measures us in order to break us.
This has negative repercussions. As we love to be challenged, our tendency is to face the devil head-on believing in our capacity to stand the test. This has led many to utter spiritual destruction. Being in the offensive is not always the best defense. Flight is might where it is the devil engaging us in a fight. – Rev. Fr. Dan Domingo P. delos Angeles, Jr., DM. Email:firstname.lastname@example.org. Website: www.frdan.org.
PRAYER FOR THE DAY: God our Father, do not bring us to the test but deliver us from the evil one. Amen.
SAINT OF THE DAY: St. Gislenus, Abbot. He lived as a hermit in a forest of Hanault, Belgium. In 650, he founded a monastery in honor of Sts. Peter and Paul. With his encouragement, St. Waldetrudis and her sister St. Aldegondis, founded a convent at Mons and another at Maubeuge in Belgium. After years of labor and service to all and God, he expired in 680.