September 25 Gospel Reading

Luke 4:31-36

31 Then He went down to Capernaum, a city of Galilee, and was teaching them on the Sabbaths. 32 And they were astonished at His teaching, for His word was with authority. 33 Now in the synagogue there was a man who had a spirit of an unclean demon. And he cried out with a loud voice, 34 saying, “Let us alone! What have we to do with You, Jesus of Nazareth? Did You come to destroy us? I know who You are–the Holy One of God!” 35 But Jesus rebuked him, saying, “Be quiet, and come out of him!” And when the demon had thrown him in their midst, it came out of him and did not hurt him. 36 Then they were all amazed and spoke among themselves, saying, “What a word this is! For with authority and power He commands the unclean spirits, and they come out.”

St. Maximos the Confessor in Second Century on Love wrote:

“It is said that God allows the demons to attack us for five reasons. The first is that, through being attacked and fighting back, we should learn to distinguish virtue from sin. The second is that, having acquired virtue by struggle and labor, we should keep it firm and unalterable. The third, that progressing in virtue we should not think highly of ourselves, but should learn humility. The fourth, that having experienced in practice the wickedness of sin, we should hate it with perfect hatred. Finally, the fifth and most important is that having been freed from passion we should not forget our weakness and the strength of Him who has helped us.”

St. Cyril of Alexandria in his Commentary on Luke Homily 12 wrote:

“The bystanders, witnesses of such great deeds, were astonished at the power of his word. He performed his miracles, without offering up a prayer, asking no one else at all for the power to accomplish them. Since he is the living and active Word of God the Father, by whom all things exist, and in whom all things are, in his own person he crushed Satan and closed the profane mouth of impure demons…He would not permit the unclean demons to confess him. It was not right for them to usurp the glory of the apostolic office or to talk of the mystery of Christ with polluted tongues. Yes, nothing they say is true. Let no one trust them. Light cannot be recognized with the help of darkness, as the disciple of Christ teaches us, where he says,’What accord has Christ with Belial? Or what has a believer in common with an unbeliever?”

Advertisements

One thought on “September 25 Gospel Reading

  1. David Rosenberg says:

    “What has a believer in common with an unbeliever?” The fact that they are sinners and need the grace of God in their lives!

    This quote is from 2 Corinthians 6:15: the context is Paul advising the Corinthians not to “yoke themselves” to unbelievers. It is a stern reminder that marriage and strong friendship may not be possible between believers and non-believers. And yet I think we are still meant to fraternize with them, for how else are we to witness to Christ among them?

    I appreciated particularly the five reasons that “It is said” demons are allowed to tempt us. All of the “lessons” given here are things we should remember in our daily walk–lest we forget, the demons and their temptations will apparently remind us…

    Note how the “it is said” qualifies it and makes it less certain, as if St. Maximos is reluctant to state this wisdom as a decree: for who would claim to know the mind of God in regards to demons?

    Thanks for posting this, NowTurning Back! 😉

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s