Thursday of Week 3 of Lent – Gospel

Commentary on Luke 11:14-23

Amazement in the Gospel does not always lead to faith. People are amazed to see Jesus liberate a man who was unable to speak from the evil power that prevented him from speaking. But, rather than seeing here the clear intervention of God’s saving power, they see in Jesus the power of another evil spirit. More than that, they ask Jesus to give some special sign of his authority and identity.

Jesus shows up the contradictions of their position. First, he has just given a powerful sign, but they choose not to see it as such. Secondly, a divided household can only collapse:

If Satan also is divided against himself, how will his kingdom stand?

Why would Satan be undoing his own work? And, if it is through Satan that Jesus casts out Satan, by what power do other exorcists among them do it?

If the answer is by God’s power, why should they make an exception of Jesus? And, if it is by God’s power (the only other alternative) that Jesus liberates people from evil powers, then they should know that God’s Kingdom, God’s reign has come among them. Far from being an accomplice, Jesus is the “stronger man” who is driving Satan from all his strongholds.

Both readings today urge us to listen carefully to God speaking to us in our lives. Let us not be blinded by prejudice of any kind, which might prevent us from recognising the signs, or the voice, or the hand of God in people and experiences we encounter during any ordinary day.

There are many times when we write off people and events, and so fail to realise that God is saying something important to us through them. People may be saints or sinners – it does not matter. God can and does use any channel to reach us.

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