24TH JANUARY 2022
2 Sm 5:1-7.10; Ps 89:20.21-22.25-26; Mk 3:22-30
MEMORIAL OF SAINT FRANCIS DE SALES, BISHOP AND DOCTOR
JESUS KING OF THE EARTH AND HEAVEN
Today’s Gospel passage gives Jesus’ crushing reply to the slander propagated by the observers from the Sanhedrin, that Jesus expelled devils using the assistance of the leader of devils.
Jesus refutes the false allegation raised against him by the Sanhedrin scribes with three counterarguments and a warning: A house divided against itself will perish and a country engaged in civil war will be ruined. Hence, Satan will not fight against Satan by helping Jesus to expel his co-workers. If Jesus is collaborating with Satan to exorcise minor demons, then the Jewish exorcists are doing the same.
Jesus claims that he is using the power of his Heavenly Father to evict devils, just as a strong man guards a house and its possessions from the thief. Finally, Jesus gives a crushing blow to his accusers, warning them that by telling blatant lies they are blaspheming against the Holy Spirit and, hence, that their sins are unforgivable.
Jesus teaches that we can be influenced by the evil spirit if we listen to him and follow him. Hence, we have to keep our souls daily cleansed and filled with the Spirit of God, leaving no space for the evil spirit to enter our souls.
Today the church celebrates the memorial of saint Francis of Sales, born in France during the difficult decades following the protestant reformation, and he fought against it when he was a bishop, he helped the Christian community to be strong in the faith. He died in 1622 with the name of Jesus in his lips. May he intercede for us so that we may be true witnesses of Christ in the world.