“Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters (Lk. 11:23).” There are many things around us that offer a good life: a good environment, good peers, and the like. All of it exhibits a satisfactory life. Sooner or later, such enticements are all just the façade of a destructive agenda.
Back in high school, I joined an organization that provides humanitarian services to those in need. One of the tenets of that organization is invoking the “aide of almighty God.” They also promote brotherhood and camaraderie among their members. Since I found it noble, I joined the said organization. However, there was something odd. Before one would become a full-fledged member, one must undergo a series of challenges, sometimes called an initiation. As a neophyte, I experienced such initiation to become officially recognized as a member. Eventually, I was looking for that God-centered environment but to no avail. All I found was violence and vices. I realized then that I was following the wrong path.
The evangelists in various Gospel accounts emphasized Jesus as the fixed point, the meeting point, the foundation, and the “corner stone.” In other words, Jesus is the only unifying force. Therefore, if we want to be whole, we must adhere to Jesus. As a priest-in-process, the Gospel reminds me to always have my grounding in Jesus. Certainly, there will be many dividing factors that will challenge me in my future ministry. The devil will never stop causing chaos and division because that is his nature. Sometimes, the devil will make us silent about the truth. It is only in Jesus that we can find refuge and security.
By: Sem. Niñonel Setosta
Gospel: Luke 11:14-23
Jesus was driving out a demon that was mute,
and when the demon had gone out,
the mute man spoke and the crowds were amazed.
Some of them said, “By the power of Beelzebul, the prince of demons,
he drives out demons.”
Others, to test him, asked him for a sign from heaven.
But he knew their thoughts and said to them,
“Every kingdom divided against itself will be laid waste
and house will fall against house.
And if Satan is divided against himself,
how will his kingdom stand?
For you say that it is by Beelzebul that I drive out demons.
If I, then, drive out demons by Beelzebul,
by whom do your own people drive them out?
Therefore they will be your judges.
But if it is by the finger of God that I drive out demons,
then the Kingdom of God has come upon you.
When a strong man fully armed guards his palace,
his possessions are safe.
But when one stronger than he attacks and overcomes him,
he takes away the armor on which he relied
and distributes the spoils.
Whoever is not with me is against me,
and whoever does not gather with me scatters.”