Monday, August 31, 2009

Daily - 8/31/09

Luke 4:31-37

31 Jesus then went down to Capernaum, a town of Galilee. He taught them on the sabbath,

32 and they were astonished at his teaching because he spoke with authority.

33 In the synagogue there was a man with the spirit of an unclean demon, and he cried out in a loud voice,

34 "Ha! What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are--the Holy One of God!"

35 Jesus rebuked him and said, "Be quiet! Come out of him!" Then the demon threw the man down in front of them and came out of him without doing him any harm.

36 They were all amazed and said to one another, "What is there about his word? For with authority and power he commands the unclean spirits, and they come out."

37 And news of him spread everywhere in the surrounding region.

How real is this episode in Christ's life to you? Do you believe in unclean spirits?

If we're to take this gospel at face value -- and I think we should -- we are to understand that unclean spirits exist, that they can have great influence on our lives, and that Christ can and does cast them out of people. Those witnessing were shocked, but it's interesting to consider WHY. Apparently they weren't shocked by the idea of an unclean spirit influencing a person. What amazed them was the command that Jesus had over the spirits.

In today's world, if I believe in unclean spirits (ie, demons), I'm crazy. Flat out nuts. But if we are to take the bible seriously (and as Catholics, we are supposed to), we should be aware that the Church's testimony is that they are indeed out there, and that they try to prevent us from having a relationship with God. Consider the "Armor of God" passage from Ephesians 6:

10 Finally, draw your strength from the Lord and from his mighty power.

11 Put on the armor of God so that you may be able to stand firm against the tactics of the devil.

12 For our struggle is not with flesh and blood but with the principalities, with the powers, with the world rulers of this present darkness, with the evil spirits in the heavens.

13 Therefore, put on the armor of God, that you may be able to resist on the evil day and, having done everything, to hold your ground.

14 So stand fast with your loins girded in truth, clothed with righteousness as a breastplate,

15 and your feet shod in readiness for the gospel of peace.

16 In all circumstances, hold faith as a shield, to quench all (the) flaming arrows of the evil one.

17 And take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

18 With all prayer and supplication, pray at every opportunity in the Spirit.

I'll leave you with a movie quote: "The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn't exist." It's a battle out there, but Christ gives us everything we need to win.