Now he was casting out a demon that was mute; when the demon had gone out, the one who had been mute spoke, and the crowds were amazed. But some of them said, “He casts out demons by Beelzebul, the ruler of the demons.” Others, to test him, kept demanding from him a sign from heaven. But he knew what they were thinking and said to them, “Every kingdom divided against itself becomes a desert, and house falls on house. If Satan also is divided against himself, how will his kingdom stand? —for you say that I cast out the demons by Beelzebul.
Now if I cast out the demons by Beelzebul, by whom do your exorcists cast them out? Therefore they will be your judges. But if it is by the finger of God that I cast out the demons, then the kingdom of God has come to you. When a strong man, fully armed, guards his castle, his property is safe. But when one stronger than he attacks him and overpowers him, he takes away his armor in which he trusted and divides his plunder. Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
This Gospel shares with us the miracle of Jesus driving out demons from the mute man and the amazement of those who witnessed the event. In typical Ignatian fashion, imagine you are the mute man in this story…what are the “demons” in your life that you want Jesus to cast out? Perhaps the “demons” may be in the form of physical temptation, grudges, self-centeredness, or gossip. Whatever our personal “demons” may be, none is more powerful than the mercy and love of God.
May this Lent serve as a time to ask for Jesus’ help with the “demons” in our lives so we can live more fully in the image of Christ. Who knows…maybe others will witness a change and be amazed by our reflection of God’s mercy and love.
—Sadie Curtin serves as Co-Director of Faith Formation at the Church of the Gesu, University Heights, OH.
I turn to Jesus, hanging on his cross,
and I speak with him. Then I reflect on myself, and ask:
What have I done for Christ?
What am I doing for Christ?
What Will I do for Christ?
And I speak with Jesus like a friend.
—The Spiritual Exercises, paraphrased by Joseph Tetlow, S.J.