Jesus casts out a demon and rebukes those who accuse Him of supporting Satan. Every Catholic man can grow in happiness by building the Virtue of Studiousness so he can build a habit of studying Scripture and the Catechism and by building the Virtue of Defense so he can fulfill his duty to be a heroic protector of the vulnerable. 

Liturgy

3rd Week of Lent – Thursday – Lk 11:14-23; 27th Week in Ordinary time – Friday – Lk 11:15-26

Commentary

After preaching about praying with persistence and promising to answer prayers, Jesus demonstrates the power of God by miraculously casting a demon out of a mute man. While many marvel, some murmur among themselves, absurdly accusing Jesus of colluding with Beelzebul; “Beelzebul” was a derogatory term (“Lord of Dung”) used by the Jews for the Philistines’ false God, who was, in reality, Satan. With this slur, the scoffers attempt to denigrate both the miracle and the Son of Man. Others seek to test Jesus further, asking for a “sign from Heaven.”

Jesus, with omniscience, knows the Jew’s hidden evil thoughts and decisively rebukes them. Revealing the absurdity of their murmured charge, Jesus exposes their illogical accusation by pointing out that Satan does not attack Satan. Turning their own attack back on His accusers, Jesus demonstrates their own (your sons) purport to cast out demons, and so, using their illogical attack, must also be in league with Satan. 

Jesus mysteriously reveals His divinity and His triumph in the Spiritual Combat. Satan (strong man), who is powerful (strong, has armor), guards those he has corrupted (his goods) by enticements to sin.  Jesus (One stronger) assails (casts out demons) and disarms Satan (takes away armor), setting sinners free to be judged (divided) by Him. Jesus warns every man must choose to be either with Him, or against Him (and with Satan). Men who have been liberated by Jesus of sins or demons, must give themselves fully to Jesus, or, in their emptiness, be vulnerable to be repossessed by sin and demons.

Be awed by Jesus Christ

Be awed by Jesus’ masterful response to His accusers: Divine Knowledge, Jesus can see and has intimate knowledge of the Angelic Realm, including Satan and his demons, and also has knowledge of the unspoken thoughts of His accusers; with superior intellect, the Word, the perfection of Reason, uses irrefutable Logic (a part of Reason) to demolish the arguments of His hapless attackers, proving they actually condemn themselves with their faulty argument.

Build a habit of studying the Scripture and Catechism

Realize: As Jesus prophetically warned, those who are not with Jesus are against Him and that this division brings collapse, the Catholic Church has become increasingly divided in recent decades and collapsing in many places, as millions leave the Church; many do not believe or promote the fullness of Christ’s Truth as preserved in the Magisterium.

Believe: Renew your understanding that there is Only One Truth (CCC 172-175) and that Truth is preserved in the Magisterium of the Church (CCC 84-100, 888-892, 2032-2040).

Pray: Jesus, Divine Word, help me build the Virtue of Studiousness (a part of Temperance) so I build a daily habit of diligently studying Your Truth in Scripture and the Catechism and have the joy and discipline to pass along Your truth to my family and many others.

Fulfill your duty to be a heroic protector

Realize: Men are built for combat and Jesus, the Perfect Man and model for men, uses militaristic terms (strong man, armor, spoils, etc.) to speak directly to men and call them to take up arms in the Spiritual Battle against the evil instigated by Satan and his demons.

Believe: Recommit to your vocation as a Catholic man and father to engage in the Spiritual Battle (CCC 405, 407-409, 921, 1496, 2015, 2516, 2573, 2725, 2752).

Pray: Almighty Father, help me build the Virtue of Defense/Protection (a part of Justice) so I take up my duty as a protector, diligently prepare and courageously act to protect my family and others against the relentless attacks of Satan.