Good over evil
September 05, 2017
22nd Week in Ordinary Time 1st Reading: 1 Thes 5:1-6. 9-11
Gospel: Luke 4:31-37
Jesus went down to Capernaum, a town of Galilee, and began teaching the people at the Sabbath meetings. They were astonished at the way he taught them, for his word was spoken with authority.
In the synagogue there was a man possessed by an evil spirit who shouted in a loud voice, “What do you want with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I recognize you: you are the Holy One of God.” Then Jesus said to him sharply, “Be silent and leave this man!” The evil spirit then threw the man down in front of them and came out of him without doing him harm.
Amazement seized all these people and they said to one another, “What does this mean? He commands the evil spirits with authority and power. He orders, and you see how they come out!” And news about Jesus spread throughout the surrounding area.
(Daily Gospel in the Assimilated Life Experience)
Those who are not familiar with the language of our civil law will be taken aback if I declare that I have the power to make fishes, pigeons and bees immovable. The law gives any landowner this power by putting up permanently an animal house, a pigeon house, beehive, fishpond or breeding places of similar nature with the intention of having them permanently attached to the land and forming permanent parts of it. When they are so attached permanently, the law considers them immovable like land and buildings. But that’s not all. The animals occupying them will also be considered immovable. But this is only legal jargon. Only God can exercise unlimited powers over any created being.
Today’s Gospel reading illustrates this power. At Jesus’ command evil spirits came out of the man they had possessed for some time. This is baffling. Aren’t devils disobedient by nature? Yes they are. Today’s Gospel reading is not about obedient devils but about the power of good over evil. The devils had no choice but dispossess the man because someone more powerful ordered them to do so. There is no merit in their submission to Jesus’ command. They were simply overpowered. This Gospel passage is one of the best illustrations of the power of good over evil.
Those who do the work of God experience this tremendous power of good over evil. Whenever a person does God’s will, he assumes moral power that not even devils can resist. We call this the power of moral persuasion. Such power reaches fullness when a person, acting as agent of the Will of God, live morally. His very life constitutes a standing order to others to stop doing evil, an order that can render even devils literally immovable. – (Atty.) Rev. Fr. Dan Domingo P. delos Angeles, Jr., DM
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