Monday of the 3rd Week of the Year

Mk 3:22-30

Jesus and Beelzebul

I don’t know if you’re familiar with divide and rule tactics or “Divide et Impera!” This was the military tactics used by the Roman emperors before Christ was born in conquering other empires throughout Europe. They caused a conflict within one nation and make the two divided groups fought each other until the empire weakened and reached its downfall.

The Pharisees see Jesus casts out devils and this plainly bespoke Him as the One being sent by God the Father. And so they insinuate that He has Beelzebul, the prince of the devils, on His side. There is a trick in this case because for them Satan is not cast out but he only goes out by consent. There is nothing in the manner of Christ’s casting out devils that gives any cause to suspect this. All of us know that it is not by consent Satan goes out from the person but Jesus does it as one having authority. And they have it resolve not to believe Him. But Christ is so wise that He attacks devil forces wherever He meets them. It is clear, that Christ is the stronger One who enters into the strong man’s house. This means that if evil is powerful and possessive, God is even more powerful and inspiring. If sin and hatred are strong, love and forgiveness are stronger. Christ’s coming is the end of the devil. Let us not be awed or frightened when evil shows itself. St. Paul says: “Where sin increased, grace overflowed all the more”, (Rom.5:20).

That is why Jesus in today’s gospel says: “If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand,” (v.24). Jesus is refuting the accusation made against Him that He works with evil to drive out evil spirits. Actually He is saying that division is evil and unity is the most important one for Him. Unity is His desire for His community of disciples and the Holy Trinity is the model and source of unity that should bind all His disciples. He prayed this unity so hard on the night before He died and even many times that He is praying to God. He says in His prayer: “Father that they maybe one even as you and I are one.”

It is said that there are different types of internal division. One is about contradiction of power, just like what the scribes want to pinpoint in today’s gospel that Satan working against himself. If he is working against himself, his kingdom cannot stand because it has within itself the principle of its own defeat. And the other one is hypocrisy which Jesus condemns. It means we say one thing and do the other. We judge others harshly for something and yet we do the very same thing. We speak to our children or family members about the importance of prayer and yet we do not pray that much. We speak about the need to be always positive in what we say and yet we fall into criticism and gossip so easily myself.

At the end, I read something like this that the author asked us that let us look at chopsticks and then look at our own relationship also. A relationship that is not blessed or held by God is bound to be fragile. It will easily fall apart but allow God to hold you together.

As with the chopsticks, a relationship must be held neither too loose nor too tight but just right. There is no fixed rule as to who should be below or above. One is not enough to serve its purpose. You have to stay together for a purpose and for a mission. So do not chop each other but stick to each other because God has brought you together.

See Today’s Readings:  Year I,   Year II

OPTION  01,   02,   03,

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