Scripture: 1st Reading: Joel1,13-15;2,1-2; Resp. Psalm: Ps9,2-3,6;16,8-9; Gosp. Accl.: Jn12,31-32; Gospel: Lk11,15-26
Yahweh has binding responsibilities towards His creation. He governs, sustains, keeps alive, provides, secures His creation and people. Yahweh is jealous over His people. Yahweh commands the creative order to serve the needs of man.
The book of Prophet Joel laments about the natural disaster that struck the land: the locust plague and drought destroyed the produce and the people became unable to offer the cereal and drink offerings to the house of God. This naturally led to a terrible reversal of fortunes for the people and great socio-economic dislocations.
The locust invasion and drought also led to a mitigation of the true worship that the people were called to give to their God. The drought brought the lives of many to a standstill and those whose lives were the hardest hit were called by the prophet of God to cry and lament and their voices to the God of their salvation for reprieve and succour.
The disasters that befell the people was interpreted as the sign that the coming of the day of the Lord was near. The people were called to grief and lament so that Yahweh could intervene, have mercy and take pity and bring back prosperity to the land and His people. If the people played their part, the day of Yahweh would be a day of vindication for them; if they failed to play their part, the day could turn out to be a day of vengeance, destruction and devastation.
The word of God today is therefore a call to the basics. The word is a call to recognize the role of God over the lives of every creature. The word calls each to that recognition. It calls to the realization that sincere cry and lament to God never go unanswered. It calls to the fact that natural disasters have their limitations if believers act fast and truly and sincerely call on Him in the sincerity of their hearts.
The word today makes us to understand that occasions of vulnerability gives us the opportunity to experience the protective power of God. Our Lord today completely trounced those who alleged that He was casting out demons by the power of Beelzebub, the prince of demons. Rather than the people seeing the finger of the Almighty at work in the great acts of the total domination of satan displayed by our Lord, they blasphemed by accusing Him of deception and thus questioned His origin.
Our Lord took the "battle" to them by asking under whose authority their sons cast out devils; He also made it clear that if He was an agent of Beelzebub, He would never have acted against the interests of the "master"; He also emphasized that only a stronger person can bring a weaker person to subjection; finally, He made the point that since Beelzebub was not with Him, it was like the case of light and darkness, day and night: Beelzebub and his league of infernal spirits had no choice but to scatter at the presence of the power of the only Son of God.
The question for us today is this: under whose authority are we? Who has dominion over us? Who governs our lives? How much faith do we have in the power of God? How close are we to Him in moments of crisis? How trustful are we in Him especially in moments when the control of the situation around us seems to be beyond us? When difficulties and challenges take the smile off our faces, where and who do we turn to for a solution?
Let us pray: God our provident Father, we thank you for the reassurance and consolation your word gives today. Stay by our side in moments of difficulty and crisis. Open our eyes to your presence even in those moments when darkness surrounds us. Show us the light at the end of the tunnel. Make us trust your power to make a difference and bring us speedy relief. Rekindle our hope in you. Amen.
May the Living Word of God find a true dwelling place within our hearts and souls today and always.