March 12, 2015

Gospel LK 11:14-23
Jesus was driving out a demon that was mute,
and when the demon had gone out,
the mute man spoke and the crowds were amazed.
Some of them said, “By the power of Beelzebul, the prince of demons,
he drives out demons.”
Others, to test him, asked him for a sign from heaven.
But he knew their thoughts and said to them,
“Every kingdom divided against itself will be laid waste
and house will fall against house.
And if Satan is divided against himself,
how will his kingdom stand?
For you say that it is by Beelzebul that I drive out demons.
If I, then, drive out demons by Beelzebul,
by whom do your own people drive them out?
Therefore they will be your judges.
But if it is by the finger of God that I drive out demons,
then the Kingdom of God has come upon you.
When a strong man fully armed guards his palace,
his possessions are safe.
But when one stronger than he attacks and overcomes him,
he takes away the armor on which he relied
and distributes the spoils.
Whoever is not with me is against me,
and whoever does not gather with me scatters.”
Certainly there can be no denying that Jesus was a controversial figure in his own time. There were those, like the Scribes and Pharisees, who spent a great deal of time and effort trying to prove that Jesus was a charlatan and a fraud.
There were others who were strict disciples, followers of Jesus and firm believers.
Perhaps the majority of people didn’t know what to think about Jesus or didn’t even care.
Jesus, however, did not spend time trying to convince the unbelievers and doubters.
His reaction in today’s gospel was simple and direct, “Whoever is not with me is against me.”
Elsewhere, when speaking about those who did not believe in him, he told his apostles, “And if any place will not receive you and they will not listen to you, when you leave, shake off the dust that is on your feet as a testimony against them.”
As he was heading to Jerusalem to meet his destiny on the cross, Jesus asked Peter, “Who do you say that I am.”
Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the son of the living God.” Matthew 16:16
Today, for me, the question remains the same, “Who do I say that Jesus is?”
I too, say, Jesus is the Christ, the Messiah. He is his brother’s keeper.
“After this many of his disciples drew back and no longer went about with him. Jesus said to the twelve, “Will you also go away?” Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.” John 6: 66-68