‘If it is through the finger of God that I cast out devils, then know that the kingdom of God has overtaken you.’ – Luke 11:20
For or Against?Opposition to Jesus Christ by the teachers of his time trailed his ministry. They were opposed to the fact that a lowly man of little learning could possess such authority over unclean spirits. They would rather credit his accomplishments to Beelzebul, the prince of demons, than attest that his power is of divine origin. Today, many people deny both the historical existence and the divinity of Christ. But their denial does not negate the reality of either. Jesus is truly God and truly man. St Luke was careful to give the historical background against which Jesus was born: He was born at the time Emperor Augustus ordered a census to be taken of the Roman Empire, Quirinius was governor of Syria and Herod was king of Judea (Lk 2:1,2; 1:5). He was born of a Virgin, Mary by the power of the Holy Spirit (Lk 1:30-33). These are all historical facts.
New Life in HimJesus also had a divine origin. He is truly Son of God. He proved this by his life of compassionate love and by the miracles he performed. In the Acts of the Apostles, it is said that ‘He went about doing good (10:38). Although he was crucified out of malice and jealousy, He rose to life as the firstborn from the dead and first of a new creation (Col 1:18). Through Him, we have hope of a new and everlasting life in heaven. Even here on earth, we have a foretaste of his resurrected in the Eucharist. He says that if we eat his flesh and drink his blood we have new life (Jn 6:54), we become connected to him as a branch to a tree and cut from him we wither and die (Jn 15:5).
Choose AgainThe corruption and death we experience as a people is because we have disconnected ourselves from Christ and attached ourselves to sin and corruption. Although we outwardly display religiosity, we are like the house that is slept and made ready for deadly demons (Lk 11:24-26). Let us heed the Prophet Joel’s call for a global repentance: “Priests put on sackcloth and lament…wail…proclaim a solemn assembly…all the inhabitants of the country…cry out to the Lord…for the day of the Lord is near.” The day of the Lord is nearer than we think. We must do the needful and repent of our sins. We must reject the demon of selfishness which invites the stronger demons of greed, moral and spiritual corruption, lust, envy, anger, vengeance and lack of patriotism.
Best of Both WorldsAs Christians, we straddle two worlds. As Jesus is both human and divine, we too as his disciples must discharge our duties to God and to the state with equal zeal and dedication. Today, we remember the words of our Blessed Mother in Fatima, Portugal, a hundred years ago, calling us to repentance, prayer and penance and to the consecration of the world to her Immaculate heart. She says that in the end her Immaculate Heart will triumph. The triumph of our mother is the triumph of her Son our Lord Jesus Christ. He desires to reign in every heart. Today, Nigeria shall be reconsecrated to the Immaculate heart of Mary. If Christ dwells in your heart then God’s kingdom will truly be established in our land. Let us work against corruption and greed. Let us banish sin from our lives forever and invite the presence of God through prayer, penance and dedicated sacrifice for our country, our families and for the peace and salvation of the world.
PrayerBlessed Jesus, reign in my heart now and always. Blessed Mother Mary, consecrate me to your Immaculate heart, amen.
Today's ReadingsJoel 1:13-15,2:1-2; Ps 9:2-9,16; Lk 11:15-26
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