28 March 2019: When you don’t take a side, you are on the wrong side!

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Thursday of the Third Week of Lent

Reading 1: Jeremiah 7:23-28; Gospel: Luke 11:14-23

He who is not with me is against me

A parishioner used to pray daily before the statue of Archangel Michael. Before leaving he would also touch the devil at the foot of the angel and say a little prayer. To the surprised parish priest, he said: “Father, it is better to be friendly with both the sides. We never know on which side we end up!” The classical selfish and cunning compromiser!

The Gospel is full of exorcisms by Jesus, his disciples, and even other experts. Even in the modern scientific world, there are many devil cults, horror novels and movies, showing that the world of the unseen is much in vogue. On the other hand, there are Christians who deny even the existence of the devil, reducing it all to psychological disorders. In reality, much of the so-called possessions could be connected with a sick psyche. Nevertheless, the belief in angels and devils is too strong and widespread in the Bible for us to label them all as superstition. Our creed says: I believe in one God, … (maker) ‘of all things visible and invisible’!

A teacher jovially told a great truth to her students once: “Children, have ever seen angels? If not, just look into the mirror!” They were thrilled. But the teacher continued: “If you haven’t seen a devil so far, just look into the mirror again!”

Truly, we can be both angels and devils, depending on the choices we make. Both within our hearts and in the world outside, there is a constant cosmic battle going on between good and evil. Trying to have the best of both the worlds is dangerous. We have to choose sides. Neutrality is not possible, nor clever. You cannot be friendly with Michael and Lucifer at the same time. ‘He who is not with me is against me; and he who does not gather with me scatters.’

 

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