Daily Gospel Reflection

March 7, 2024

March 7, 2024


Evil is Real

4 min


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Gospel

Lk 11:14-23


Now he was casting out a demon that was dumb; when the demon had gone out, the dumb man spoke, and the people marveled. But some of them said, “He casts out demons by Be-el´zebul, the prince of demons”; while others, to test him, sought from him a sign from heaven. But he, knowing their thoughts, said to them, “Every kingdom divided against itself is laid waste, and house falls upon house. And if Satan also is divided against himself, how will his kingdom stand? For you say that I cast out demons by Be-el´zebul. And if I cast out demons by Be-el´zebul, by whom do your sons cast them out? Therefore they shall be your judges. But if it is by the finger of God that I cast out demons, then the kingdom of God has come upon you. When a strong man, fully armed, guards his own palace, his goods are in peace; but when one stronger than he assails him and overcomes him, he takes away his armor in which he trusted, and divides his spoil. He who is not with me is against me, and he who does not gather with me scatters.

Readings are from Dynamic Catholic’s New Testament Bible: RSV Catholic Edition

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Transcript


Evil is Real

Hi, I'm Matthew Kelly. Welcome back to Radical and Relevant, where we're exploring the genius of the gospel. When was the last time you experienced evil? When was the last time you witnessed evil? When was the last time you had an encounter with an evil spirit? When was the last time you experienced someone who was possessed? I think sometimes we think, "Oh, people who are possessed, that's old-fashioned, right? That's in the Bible." But I think we see it all the time, right? Sometimes you see someone screaming at someone in an airport because the flight's delayed. And this person, in their anger, there's a possession there, right? Or maybe you see someone who is very, very drunk and yelling at people and doing crazy stuff. There's a sort of a possession there. We see this in many, many aspects of people's lives. It's not just in the Bible. Evil is real, possession is real. Let's have a look at what Jesus has to say today. Now, Jesus was casting out a demon that was dumb. When the demon had gone out, the dumb man spoke and the people were amazed. But some of them said, "He casts out demons by Beelzebub, the prince of demons," while others, to test him, sought from him assigned from heaven.

But Jesus, knowing their thoughts, He said to them, "Every kingdom divided against itself is laid to waste, and house falls upon house. And if Satan also is divided against himself, how will his kingdom stand? For you say that I cast out demons by Beelzebub. And if I cast out demons by the prince of demons, by whom do your sons cast them out? Therefore, they shall be your judges. But if it is by the hand of God that I cast out demons, then the kingdom of God has come upon you. When a strong man, fully armed, guards his own place, his goods are in peace. But when one's stronger than he assails him and overcomes him, he takes away his armor in which he trusted, and divides his spoils. He who is not with me is against me, and he who does not gather with me scatters."

So a conversation about evil, a conversation about possession, a conversation about the devil. I think we do experience these things in our lives, and I think we set them aside. I think we pretend that they're something that they're not, and I think it's really important for us to say, "Wow, that's evil. That's an expression of evil." Because I think we are seeing more and more expressions of evil in our world. And I think it's important that we not be confused about what that is. Today's reading closes with this fabulous line. If you're not for me, you're against me. And I think we think about that often, but I think the other thing is sometimes we imagine who is for us and who is against us, or who is for the church, and against the church. We imagine in our minds, it isn't that somebody actually did something or said something, but we have this imagination that thinks, "Oh, this person disagrees with this," or, "This person is opposed to us on this." And that isn't necessarily the case. So, again, called to calm the imagination, deal with the facts before us, and work out, first of all, are we for Jesus? Are we with Jesus? Are we helping him gather? Or are we scattering and adding to the mess? God bless you. Have an amazing day. Be bold, be Catholic. I'll see you tomorrow.

March 7, 2024

March 7, 2024