The Truth About Possession
The First Ever Guide to Eucharistic Consecration
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And the scribes who came down from Jerusalem said, “He is possessed by Beel´zebul, and by the prince of demons he casts out the demons.” And he called them to him, and said to them in parables, “How can Satan cast 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, but is coming to an end. But no one can enter a strong man’s house and plunder his goods, unless he first binds the strong man; then indeed he may plunder his house. “Truly, I say to you, all sins will be forgiven the sons of men, and whatever blasphemies they utter; but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is guilty of an eternal sin”—for they had said, “He has an unclean spirit.”
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The Truth About Possession
Hi, I'm Matthew Kelly. Welcome back to Radical and Relevant where we are exploring the genius of Jesus in today's gospel. Today's gospel comes from the Gospel of Mark 3:22-30. And the scribes who came down from Jerusalem said, "He is possessed by Beelzebul. And by the prince of the demons, he casts out the demons." And He called them to Him and said to them in parables, "How can Satan cast out Satan? If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. 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 but is coming to an end. But no one can enter a strong man's house and plunder his goods unless he first binds the strong man, then indeed, he may plunder his house. Truly I say to you, all sins will be forgiven, the sons of man, and whatever blasphemies they utter. But whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness but is guilty of an eternal sin for they have said he has an unclean spirit." Remember, we're looking for a word, a phrase, or an idea. You look at this one reading, there's just so much. There's so many words, phrases, and ideas to choose from. The first one that stuck out at me was possessed. Like we read over and over in the Gospels that people were possessed by demons. I think a lot of people would say, "Oh, yeah, possession, that's like an old-fashioned thing." But don't you see people possess sometimes? Don't you see, I got these images-- when I was traveling all the time, I got these images of people standing at the ticket counter screaming at the person behind the desk because the flight is delayed as if the person behind the desk had like an extra 747 at home in their garage and they were personally withholding the use of this airplane to deliberately delay this one particular person from getting home on time, and these people seem possessed. Sometimes you see people who had too much to drink. They also take on the look, the feel of someone who is possessed. And you lose your temper, or you see someone else lose their temper, and you see, "Okay. Well, this is a sort of a possession." So I think it's dangerous to cast this stuff off as, "Oh, that's old-fashioned. That doesn't happen anymore." I don't believe that's true.
Another fascinating phrase here today is, "If a kingdom is divided against itself or if a house is divided against itself." And I think it's a good reflection for us to look at how are you divided against yourself, how are you working against yourself. There's a phrase, a cliche really, "You're your own worst enemy," or sometimes people will say it about themselves, "I'm my own worst enemy." What does that mean? It means I'm divided against myself.
Maybe today is an invitation to examine how am I divided against myself. And then at the end of the reading, you just sort of-- this piece is just sort of added on there about all of people's sins will be forgiven except if you blaspheme against the Holy Spirit, no, that's an eternal sin. And, yeah, we could spend the rest of the year analyzing what is blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, but let's do something different. Let's look at the opposite. Rather than get caught all of that, what is the opposite of blaspheming against the Holy Spirit? The opposite is respecting the Holy Spirit, is honoring the Holy Spirit, is referencing the Holy Spirit, is allowing the Holy Spirit to work in our lives, is allowing the Holy Spirit to guide us, to coach us, to lead us. And not just in the big things, but in the little moments of life.
And I think in Rediscover Jesus, I wrote, "I never met anybody who relied too much on the Holy Spirit. Most of us make the mistake in exactly the opposite direction. We rely too little on the Holy Spirit." But you pick your word, you pick your phrase, you pick your idea, focus on that today, and allow it to-- allow the gospel to come alive in your daily actions. Have a great day. And remember, don't just be yourself, be the very best version of yourself, all that God created you to be.