‘Those who are not with me are against me.’

Even when Jesus’ numerous exorcisms brought freedom to many who were troubled and oppressed by the work of evil spirits, Jesus Himself encountered personal opposition.
Some of the Jewish leaders reacted vehemently to Jesus’ healings and exorcisms and they opposed Him with malicious slander. How could He get the power and authority to release individuals from Satan’s power? They assumed that He had to be in league with Satan. They attributed His power to Satan rather than to God.
Our Lord answers them with a clinching argument: the fact that He expels demons is proof that He has brought the Kingdom of God. The miracles of Jesus also demonstrate that the Kingdom has already come on earth: ‘If it is by the finger of God that I cast out demons, then the Kingdom of God has come upon you’. But principally the Kingdom of God is revealed in the person of Christ Himself, Son of God and Son of Man, who came ‘to serve and to give His life as a ransom for many’.

Jesus is saying that there is no neutral ground: there can be no abstainers. His life and message confront us, and we opt for Him or against Him. A failure to decide for Him can only be interpreted as rejection, because it means we decide to live our lives apart from Him and in a way different to His way.
It is our choice as to whether we accept Jesus’ offer or not. If we decide for Him, then we must live out this most important of choices in the daily decisions of our lives. Lent is the season when the Church will ask the faithful to reflect on the condition of their souls. This is the time to review our life and see if we have allowed our hearts to become hardened to the word of the Lord, or if we have been open to listen to Him, and do His will. Lent is a special time for repentance and conversion. As Christians who are seeking God’s will in this season of Lent, our sacrifices, reflections, prayers and repentance are our answers to His call.

Father, Your Son, Jesus our King has established in our hearts His kingdom, making us a “royal priesthood” of believers. Grant us the grace to overcome our differences as You have united us in prayer. May Your Kingdom be realized on earth. Grant us your Holy Spirit that we may discern what will lead us to you and what leads us away from you.


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