In today’s Gospel the crowds are starting to become suspicious about what really powers the miracles of Jesus. He’s just cast out a demon and the rumors spread that he himself is doing it because he’s in league with Beelzebub. He’s performed a sign, but they doubt whether it’s a sign from Heaven. Our Lord responds with common sense: why would Beelzebub help reduce the influence of his fellow demons by casting them out? That would be done from a position of weakness, not strength, because it would show a kingdom divided. He also questions why they are suspicious of his ability to drive out demons when they have others with this gift as well.
Defense of our souls, our “home” requires ongoing strength, not just a one-time assist from Our Lord. The enemy of our souls will always try to retake lost ground and make us worse than before. Any solider will tell you it’s not just a matter of taking the hill, but of holding onto it. Our Lord reminds us that he wants to help keep those enemies out of our soul, but it requires an ongoing “treaty” with him. On our own we’ll easily be overwhelmed and lose whatever he has helped us to gain.
Let’s ask Our Lord today not only to help us achieve the conquest of a holy life, but to hold onto the gains we’ve made and advance in holiness.
Readings: Joel 1:13–15, 2:1–2; Psalm 9:2–3, 6, 8–9, 16; Luke 11:15–26.