Tuesday, September 3, 2019
Tuesday of the Twenty-Second Week in Ordinary Time
“What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are–the Holy One of God!” Jesus rebuked him and said, “Be quiet! Come out of him!” Then the demon threw the man down in front of them and came out of him without doing him any harm. They were all amazed and said to one another, “What is there about his word? For with authority and power he commands the unclean spirits, and they come out.” Luke 4:34-36
Yes, it’s a frightening thought. Demons are for real. Or is it frightening? If we look at the whole scene here we find that Jesus is clearly victorious over the demon and casts him out without allowing him to do the man any harm. So, truth be told, this passage is far more frightening for the demons than it should be for us!
But what it does tell us is that demons are real, they hate us and they desire deeply to destroy us. So, if that’s not frightening it should at least make us sit up and pay attention.
Demons are fallen angels who retain their natural powers. Though they turned from God and acted in complete selfishness, God does not strip away their natural powers unless they misuse them and we turn to Him for help. So what is it that demons are capable of? As with the holy angels, demons have natural powers of communication and influence upon us and upon our world. The angels are given the care of the world and our lives. Those angels that fell from grace now try to use their power over the world and their power to influence us and communicate with us for evil. They have turned from God and now they want to turn us.
One thing this tells us is that we must constantly act in a discerning way. It’s easy to be tempted and led astray by a lying demon. In the case above, this poor man had so cooperated with this demon that it took full possession of his life. Though that level of influence and control upon us is quite rare, it can happen. What’s most important, however, is that we simply understand and believe that demons are real and they constantly try to lead us astray.
But the good news is that Jesus has all power over them and easily confronts them and overpowers them if we but seek His grace to do so.
Reflect, today, upon the reality of evil and the reality of demonic temptations in our world. We’ve all experienced them. They are nothing to be overly frightened about. And they should not be seen in an overly dramatic light. Demons are powerful, but the power of God easily triumphs if we let Him take control. So as you reflect upon the reality of evil and demonic temptations, reflect also on God’s desire to enter in and render them powerless. Allow God to take command and trust that God will conquer.
Lord, when I am tempted and confused, please come to me. Help me to discern the evil one and his lies. May I turn to You the All-Powerful One in all things, and may I rely upon the powerful intercession of the holy angels You have entrusted to me. Jesus, I trust in You.
Saint of the Day – Saint Gregory the Great