The devil’s confession
January 14, 2020
1st Week in Ordinary Time
First Reading: 1 Sm 1:9–20 Gospel Reading: Mark 1:21-28
JESUS and his disciples went into the town of Capernaum and began to teach in the synagogue during the Sabbath assemblies. The people were astonished at the way he taught, for he spoke as one having authority and not like the teachers of the Law.
It happened that a man with an evil spirit was in their synagogue and he shouted, “What do you want with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are: You are the Holy One of God.” Then Jesus faced him and said with authority, “Be silent and come out of this man!” The evil spirit shook the man violently and, with a loud shriek, came out of him.
All the people were astonished and they wondered, “What is this? With what authority he preaches! He even orders evil spirits and they obey him!” And Jesus’ fame spread throughout all the country of Galilee.
(Daily Gospel in the Assimilated Life Experience)
The devil confessed and recognized Jesus as the holy one of God. Still, Jesus drove him out. No devil deserves divine trust because all devils are tellers of lie. If ever they find it opportune to tell the truth, they only tell half of it. But half-truth is also half-lie. That is why half-truth is just as toxic as half-lie. In today’s Gospel reading, the devil only declared Jesus as the one coming from Nazareth when the whole truth was that Jesus came from heaven. He did acknowledge him as the holy one of God. But the whole truth is that Jesus is the Son of God.
The telling of only half the truth by devils is not an innocent memory lapse. This is their tried and tested strategy of luring people towards moral destruction. Every devil knows that if shown the whole truth no rational animal buys temptation. A husband for example knows that the preservation of his family is priceless. The devil will have to find a good strategy that hides this value from the husband.
First, the devil will present how lonely the husband is and how he deserves to unwind with somebody. Since the idea sounds innocent, the husband bites the bait. The devil then chooses the companion for him, their agent of course, and arranges for a place most conducive to committing sin, such as a night club or a red-light district. When the devil has fully executed his strategy the husband realizes too late that he has already betrayed his family.
Tellers of half the truth deserve not our trust. Let us never give in to the devil even in times when he seems to be telling the truth. – (Atty.) Rev. Fr. Dan Domingo P. delos Angeles, Jr., J.D., D.M.
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