18 Jan 2017: Angels and Demons


Thursday of the Second Week in Ordinary Time

Reading 1: I Sam 18: 6-9; 19: 1-7; Gospel: Mk 3: 7-12

Angels and Demons is one of the controversial novels of Dan Brown. In it the author shows, though unconventionally, how ‘angels’ can have ‘demoniac’ features within them and how ‘demons’ too can be ‘angelic.’ Human life too is the same. Psalm, 8 says ‘you have made us a little less than the angels.’ But human beings are angelic and demonic at the same time. This struggle between the angels and demons within is one that lasts till the last breath. In today’s first reading and Gospel, we find two persons where such a struggle occurs to which both of them respond in two different ways. In the first reading, we find King Saul, ‘the anointed king of Israel.’ From the lowest of the Benjamin tribe, God chose him as king. But when the crowds started praising David, his demon within gained control. The anointed one of God started devising plans to kill another. In the book of Samuel then we read how Saul’s main intention changed from leading the people of Israel to pursue and kill David. The spirit departed from him and an evil spirit started tormenting him and he did not know it. He wanted praise and appreciation and when deprived, demon within him came out. In the Gospel of today, we find Jesus who faces another kind of situation. A situation of exaltation and praise. People from the four corners of the world thronged around him; they wanted to see him. The demons shouted out: ‘you are the son of God.’ Jesus didn’t want praise; he knew that it was the test of the evil one to take vain pride in himself. Jesus did not ask the demoniac to come in front of the public and proclaim him as Son of God; that would have boosted his ego, but he sternly ordered them to be silent. He crushed the demonic temptation to praise and clung on to the angelic quality of humility. Whom do we feed? The angels within us or the demons within us

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