Saturday, October 6, 2018
Saturday of the Twenty-Sixth Week of Ordinary Time
The seventy-two disciples returned rejoicing and said to Jesus, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us because of your name.” Jesus said, “I have observed Satan fall like lightning from the sky. Behold, I have given you the power ‘to tread upon serpents’ and scorpions and upon the full force of the enemy and nothing will harm you. Nevertheless, do not rejoice because the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice because your names are written in heaven.” Luke 10:17-20
Wow, that would have been impressive. The seventy-two had power over demons when they called on the name of the Lord Jesus. This was a power they had that amazed them more than anything.
Most likely if we saw someone actually possessed by a demon and we went over and demanded the demon leave in the name of Jesus, and the demon left, we’d also be impressed. This is an uncommon experience in the strictest sense. There are a few things to say about it.
First, yes, it is impressive and, yes, Jesus has full authority over the evil one. Therefore, the seventy-two should have been overjoyed at seeing His power at work through them.
Second, we should be aware of the fact that even though we may not encounter people who are fully possessed, we do encounter the workings of the evil one on a daily basis. So one thing this Scripture should tell us is that we need to trust in the power of Jesus to act through us as evil is combated. We must confidently pray that our world be delivered from the evil one and we must have full faith that the power of Christ will work through our prayer.
Third, though combating evil directly is essential, Jesus takes this occasion to point out that there is something far more important. He says that we should primarily rejoice because our “names are written in Heaven.” In other words, power over the evil one is not the end goal. Heaven is. Growth in holiness and virtue are the primary goals we must have in life.
Reflect, today, upon your duty to rebuke the evil one and his works in Jesus’ name. But reflect even more upon your calling to holiness of life and growth in virtue. These, more than anything else, are the pathway to Heaven!
Lord, help me to have confidence in Your power to overcome the evil one and his works. But more importantly, help me to continually turn my eyes to You and Heaven, making holiness of life my primary goal. Jesus, I trust in You.