Monday of the Third Week in Ordinary Time
Fighting the temptations
The scribes who had come from Jerusalem said, “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. Mk 3,22-27
The scribes have noted the power of Jesus in driving out the demons from the people and the situations which he encountered along the roads of the Palestine, but they understood everything to the contrary, by theologically sophisticating. They imply that the powers of the evil are acting in Jesus, who answered questions and parables which they are unable to understand due to lack of simplicity and faith. The fact is that with his coming to the earth, he has broken the kingdom of Satan, the ”strong man”, ruining the old house where he lived. Jesus, who is the strongest man among the strong men, came to build the new house of God where we live, as free people, with renewed dignity. It is as if an old hovel, dirty and dilapidated, in which the men lived like animals, would have been purchased by a true benefactor, who did the restoration and cleaned it up and offered it to the same people who previously lived there, to finally live like gentlemen. The final victory of Jesus over Satan will be with his death on the cross and his resurrection: but if all of this, in the passage of the today’s gospel, has not yet happened, why his only presence already puts away the demons? The reason is his holiness. The holiness of Jesus makes the air unbreathable for the demons and they must necessarily escape. Even today it is like this. The real exorcism against Satan is the holiness. If we believe that Jesus has freed, saved and redeemed us by his death and resurrection, if we frequently approach with the sacraments of the eucharist and reconciliation, if our thoughts are clean, if our feelings are pure, if our mouth does not say untruths and if we welcome with love the people we meet every day, the devil can only escape in front of us. Unfortunately, we live only rarely in this atmosphere of holiness, and then we give the devil the right not to abandon our home. We always have, however, a way to escape it: the sign of the cross. If when we are in temptation we find the strength to make us a sign of the cross, by that gesture we authorize the Lord to fight Satan in our place and he can only escape.