Read: Galatians 3:7-14, Ps. 111:1-6 Luke 11:15-26 

“When a strong man, fully armed, guards his own palace, his goods are in peace; but when one stronger than he assails him and overcomes him, he takes away his armour in which he trusted, and divides his spoil. He who is not with me is against me, and he who does not gather with me scatters.” (Luke 11:21-23)

Today, St. Paul continues his lecture to the Galatians whom he referred to as foolish for their erroneous thinking. Paul reminded them that Abraham had not even been circumcised yet when God called him and made him the source of blessing for all nations. He then shows that with the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross (the real deal), we have been freed from the requirement of circumcision (the symbol). “Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us.” (Galatians 3:13).

Does this mean that with Christ’s sacrifice, the ten commandments have become invalid? No way. Even Jesus himself said: “Think not that I have come to abolish the law and the prophets; I have come not to abolish them but to fulfil them. For truly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the law until all is accomplished. Whoever then relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 5:17-19)

It is important to note that by “redeemed from the curse of the law”, St. Paul was specifically referring to the act of circumcision, not the entire Old Testament. Having received Christ, we are not freed from the requirements of the law but we must bear in mind that our salvation does not depend on our obedience to the law but on the sacrifice of Jesus on the Cross of Calvary.

In today’s Gospel passage, we see that some people went as far as accusing Jesus of using the power of demons. Even today, there are many who believe that Jesus is powerless; many who believe more in the power and existence of demons but consider Jesus as a comedian, many who are scared of what demons can do but think that praying to Jesus is a waste of time.

In his defence, Jesus gave the parable of a strong man who guards his palace securely but when one stronger than he comes, he breaks his defences. In other words, it is true that demons have power but if you believe that demonic power exists, you must know that such powers are limited. There is an extent to which witches and wizards can go. Jesus is the stronger man. When we come in the name of Jesus, every demon, every satanic power must bow.

St. Paul would say: “God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth.” (Philippians 2:9-10). If only you had faith the size of a mustard seed to understand the power of Jesus, you would not be scared of demons, witches and wizards. St. John teaches us: “Little children, you are of God, and have overcome them; for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.” (1 John 4:4).

I feel ashamed when I see Christians panicking at the thought of witches and wizards or pastors exulting the devil in their sermons, literally putting fear in the minds of their listeners without also preaching about God’s power as greater than that of the devil. Today’s Christians are willing to ascribe every single negative event in their lives to the power of the devil (including headaches) but are very slow to praise and thank God for positive events in their lives. When things are good, they praise themselves and forget God but when things are not good, they give credit to the devil.

The people wanted to see a sign, a show of power, a display like that of Elijah and the prophets of Baal but Jesus didn’t put up any show. If you believe, you don’t need to see signs and wonders (miracles) and if you don’t believe, a million signs will not convince you. Yes, the devil is strong but Jesus is stronger. If you don’t get it, forget about it.

Lastly, today is the memorial of our Lady of the Rosary. The rosary is a sure weapon over the devil and all evil forces on earth. God gave that power to Mary when in Genesis 3:15, He said: “I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.” If you don’t believe in the Rosary, no need to argue, skip it and pray as you know best. But if you believe, pray the rosary not as a recital but with its accompanying meditations on the major life events of Jesus Christ (known as the mysteries). 

Let us pray: Heavenly Father, deepen my faith in your ultimate power to save me. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Be Happy. Live Positive. Have Faith. It is well with you. God bless you. (Our Lady of the Rosary on Friday of week 27 in Ordinary Time. Bible Study: Galatians 3:7-14, Ps. 111:1-6 Luke 11:15-26)

© Rev. Fr. Evaristus Abu