“What we need is a cup of understanding, a barrel of love, and an ocean of patience.” This quote from St. Francis de Sales, whose memorial we celebrate today, can help us understand further today’s Gospel. Jesus gives us an example to live by and confronts us—do I have these—just a little cup of understanding, a big barrel of love and a very vast ocean of patience?
When the Scribes accuse Jesus of being possessed by the devil and say that He uses satanic power to drive out demons, Jesus patiently responds by pointing out the inconsistencies in their argument. “A house divided against itself cannot stand.” Can Satan attack himself and cause his own end?
Our professor in one of our modular classes in Theology posed to us challenges that the Church needs to respond to. One of them is evangelizing the public servants so as to have better collaboration with them in attending to the needs of the people.
Today, we experience division in our society, in our communities, and even in our families. Everyone digs in his heels and maintains his position, refusing to dialogue with the other side. A week ago, while browsing the social media, I felt down over some people expressing their disappointment with the Church as her ministers confront ineptness and corruption in the government. Some people would simply react and resort to prodding the Church to just respect her separation from the State.
Jesus calls us to be patient and loving to our enemies and to be instruments of unity rather than division. While we cannot condone evil, we must make real efforts to understand why other people believe what they do. Angry words or resorting to violence do not change hearts and minds. We must establish trust and personal connection first and engage in authentic communication.
By: Sem. Glicerio T. Tano
The scribes who had come from Jerusalem said of Jesus,
“He is possessed by Beelzebul,” and
“By the prince of demons he drives out demons.”
Summoning them, he began to speak to them in parables,
“How can Satan drive out Satan?
If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand.
And if a house is divided against itself,
that house will not be able to stand.
And if Satan has risen up against himself and is divided,
he cannot stand;
that is the end of him.
But no one can enter a strong man’s house to plunder his property
unless he first ties up the strong man.
Then he can plunder his house.
Amen, I say to you, all sins and all blasphemies
that people utter will be forgiven them.
But whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit
will never have forgiveness,
but is guilty of an everlasting sin.”
For they had said, “He has an unclean spirit.”