Faith Daily | 8 October 2021
PRAYER of the DAY - PENTECOST APBA p588
whose hand is open
to fill all things living with plenteousness:
make us ever thankful for your goodness,
and grant that we, remembering the account
that we must one day give,
may be faithful stewards of your bounty;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
GOSPEL for the Day: Luke 11: 15-26
15But some of them said, ‘He casts out demons by Beelzebul, the ruler of the demons.’ 16Others, to test him, kept demanding from him a sign from heaven. 17But he knew what they were thinking and said to them, ‘Every kingdom divided against itself becomes a desert, and house falls on house. 18If Satan also is divided against himself, how will his kingdom stand? —for you say that I cast out the demons by Beelzebul. 19Now if I cast out the demons by Beelzebul, by whom do your exorcists* cast them out? Therefore they will be your judges. 20But if it is by the finger of God that I cast out the demons, then the kingdom of God has come to you. 21When a strong man, fully armed, guards his castle, his property is safe. 22But when one stronger than he attacks him and overpowers him, he takes away his armour in which he trusted and divides his plunder. 23Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters.
24 ‘When the unclean spirit has gone out of a person, it wanders through waterless regions looking for a resting-place, but not finding any, it says, “I will return to my house from which I came.” 25When it comes, it finds it swept and put in order. 26Then it goes and brings seven other spirits more evil than itself, and they enter and live there; and the last state of that person is worse than the first.’
GOSPEL Reflection: Contributed by: Rev’d Sandra
In today’s passage of scripture Jesus frees a man from enslavement to an evil power which had rendered him mute so that he could not speak. And I think it is also interesting for us to bear in mind that in Matthew’s version of this incident, the man is also blind. So the afflicted person could not speak and could not see – both blind and mute.
And as I reflected on this it seems to me that as Christians today, we can still suffer from negative influences, that tempt us to shirk from acknowledging our Christian faith openly. We may wish to remain silent rather than speak up when the values we hold closely as Christians are attacked or ridiculed.
The Gospel tells us that there were people present at this act of healing and deliverance, who were astonished at the good that Jesus was doing. However, there was also a group of people who witnessed the good that Jesus did and accused him of using Satan’s power to achieve his aims. It is interesting that at the same time his enemies also asked Jesus for a sign from God.
There is a clear gap between two groups. While the Pharisees keep asking Jesus for his credentials and sought to discredit him, there were also other people seen to be thanking God for all the good being done among them through Jesus and his healing ministry.
The lesson from Jesus is chilling. He spoke about the conflict that exists between God and the powers of evil and pointed out that in this battle if a person is not completely committed to the Lord – they are open to being corrupted and influenced by negative powers. There is no neutral ground.
However, it seems to me that the good news is that as Christian believers, we are assured that through Christ, we live in a state of grace, where we can meet God. We are reminded by Jesus that we are truly blessed in that we have His presence with us and His example to guide and lead us into right actions and behaviours in life as we live in Him and He lives in us, day by day.
FINAL PRAYER: Source: Thomas à Kempis
“Be strong and let your heart take courage all you who hope in the Lord.” Psalm 31:24
Lover of my soul, when you come into my soul,
all that is within me rejoices.
You are my glory and the exultation of my heart.
You are my hope and refuge in the day of my trouble.
Set me free from all evil passions, and heal my heart
of all inordinate affections, cure and cleanse me within,
that I may be made fit to love, courageous to suffer,
and steady to persevere.
Nothing is sweeter than love, nothing more courageous,
nothing fuller nor better in heaven and earth;
because love is born of God, and cannot rest but in God,
above all created things.
Let me love you more than myself, and love myself except for you,
and in you all that truly love you,
as the law of love commands, shining out from yourself.