The WORD in Other Words by Fr Ernesto Salvar SVD (Philippines) Friday Week 27 Ordinary Time, Jl 1:13-15; 2:1-2, Lk 11:15-26
Some people really have ill will. Most probably for reasons of pride, envy or insecurity, they would find ways to put others down. They would even resort to slander just to fulfill their bad intention. Oxford defines slander simply as “false statement that is damaging to somebody‘s reputation” or “false and malicious statement about another.”
When Jesus had just expelled a demon, some of the crowd said: “By the power of Beelzebul, the prince of demons, he drives out demons.” Jesus must have been shaking his head in disbelief for such slander. This prompted him to say: “He who is not with me is against me.” Have you ever experienced being slandered? Even if you say, “Well, I should not be affected because it is not true,” most probably you will still feel bad about the slander and the slanderer. So, we must be careful with committing slander, character assassination or destroying the reputation or honor of others, backbiting, or back stabbing, for such can cause so much anguish, damage and pain. Doing these is uncharitable.
The second thing we can learn from today‘s gospel is to welcome Jesus and the Holy Spirit in our hearts; fill ourselves with good works; immerse ourselves with the Word of God and gladly accept and participate in the celebration of the Sacraments. In this way, we leave our soul without any space for the evil one to come or return to. For an empty soul is an invitation for the devil to “return to my home from which I came.”
With St. Amold Janssen, we pray “May the Holy Triune God live in our hearts and in the hearts of all. Amen.”