From the Pastor – June 9, 2024

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.” Mk 3:23-26)

Today’s Gospel tells us that the devil is not divided. In the earlier part of Mark’s third chapter, Jesus had been curing people and performing exorcisms, and He had incurred the wrath of the Pharisees by curing the man with the withered hand on the Sabbath. Mark specifically tells us that “[t]he Pharisees went out and immediately took counsel with the Herodians against him to put him to death.” So several of Jesus’ relatives came to seize Jesus saying “He is out of his mind.” They evidently couldn’t understand why Jesus would leave his job in Nazareth, surround himself with a motley group of disciples and incur the wrath of the religious leaders. Although they couldn’t deny his miracles and his exorcisms, they thought He, Himself was possessed. The truth is that the devil had convinced the people that his work was diabolical rather than divine.

But the devil is the divider. Today the devil continues to try to work his plan of division, to divide us from God through sin, to divide us from each other through envy, to divide husbands from wives, to divide sons from daughters, to divide our country through partisanship, to divide countries through war, to divide us any way he can. At the Last Supper Jesus prayed for unity, that we might be one, just as He and the Father are one. And he gave us the means to do that through the Holy Eucharist where we become one with Him, and with each other through the mystical communion that is the Body of Christ. The devil is strong, but he has already been defeated by the Cross of Christ. Our embrace of that Cross is the means we might defeat his plan in our own lives and enter into the perfect unity of the Holy Trinity in Heaven.

(Very Rev. Msgr.) Christopher H. Nalty