Mt 9:32-38 Dealing with the devil?

Tuesday of the Fourteenth Week in Ordinary Time
(Click here for readings)

A demonic who could not speak was brought to Jesus, and when the demon was driven out the mute man spoke.  The crowds were amazed and said, “Nothing like this has ever been seen in Israel.”  But the Pharisees said, “He drives out demons by the prince of demons.”

A demonic who could not speak.  Have you ever seen a child, who was in so much pain, unable to scream because of the pain?  I have.  With their mouth wide open and tears streaming down their face, not a single word was spoken or a sound made.  The pain was just too excruciating.

I believe this is what our young man, from today’s Gospel passage, was experiencing.  His “pain,” either physical, spiritual and/or psychological – was drowning him into silence.

Who knows, maybe he became mute because no one could relate to his suffering or maybe it was because he had given up on hope.

Eventually, this poor son of Abraham was brought to the Lord by some caring people and the man was able to speak again. 

For sure, his first words must have been: “Thank you, Lord.”

No thanks, Lord.  There are some people in this world that do a very good job at criticizing the words and actions of others.  It isn’t because they are skilled or talented in it; it’s because it’s easy to do, and they have decided to do what is easy. 

The Pharisees were great critics.  There were many others, of course, before them and even more so after them, but they really had a knack for criticizing sinners and the Lord, especially the Lord.  And I say “especially the Lord” because critics often focus their attention (and harshest comments) on successful people, nay,  threatening people.

That’s it!

The Lord was criticized by the Pharisees and scribes, and not so much by the Romans or pagans, because he threatened their very way of life; a life that had been created by twisting the word of God to fit their purposes.

Jesus should have cured this man long ago!  What kind of God can He be?  Why did he allow this man to suffer for so many years?  Why didn’t He come to the rescue sooner?  And, while we’re at it, why doesn’t He take away all human suffering?  He must not be God.  He must not be good.  He must be the devil.

In the meantime…a young man was cured right before their very eyes.

Before we ask God why He does what He does or doesn’t do what we think He should do, we should first work on driving out the screaming and critical voices of self-righteousness and sinfulness within us before insinuating that God is bad or in cahoots with the demons surrounding us. 

This is a lesson the Pharisees should have learned from all their studies and after examining their conscience. 

The demons remained silent, and for good reason: they knew who they were up against.  The Pharisees never remained silent, and for a very bad reason: they could not acknowledge or recognize their own sinfulness. 

“Even fools are thought wise if they keep silent” (Proverbs 17:28).  Why?  Because they give the impression of reflecting.

What ultimately did the Pharisees in was not their criticizing of the Lord, but their lack of understanding the Lord, and that could only happen when they hide from the truth of who they were: Sinners.

And that is known as “dealing with the devil.” (0)

Fr. Alfonse (1035 Posts)

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