TUESDAY, TWENTY SECOND WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME
1 Thes 5: 1-6, 9-11; Ps 27: 1, 4, 13-14; Lk 4: 31-37
Who or what are these “unclean spirits” mentioned now and then in the New Testament? They are fallen angels. The world of spirits was created by God, before the world of humans. Moreover, the fallen spirits were allowed by God to tempt the first parents of the human race. They seduced Eve into believing that God did not love them; that God was afraid that by eating the forbidden fruit, Adam and Eve might become like himself. Convinced that the devil’s lies were true, Eve, desiring to be like God, did what was forbidden and seduced Adam too. The intelligence of the spirits far exceeds that of human beings. And the greatest human weakness, which can infect the mind even of great intellectuals, is pride. The evil and unclean spirits fell precisely through pride. Thus, thinking that proud humans would help him carry out his plans, the devil tempted our first parents.
In today’s Gospel passage we hear the unclean spirit saying, “we know who you are: the Holy One of God.” How did the devil know that Jesus was the Holy One of God? Not only because the devil is far more intelligent than humans, but also because the Father gave the devil a permission to tempt his incarnate son, right at the beginning of Jesus’ public ministry. The devil concluded that if Jesus were not the Holy One of God, he would not have been able to resist the three temptations.
Why are the fallen spirits called unclean? Because they have temptation to lust as is often depicted in movies and pagan mythology? Spirits have no temptations to lust, but they are unclean in their minds that have rebelled against God. Adam and Eve, before the fall, had no temptation to lust though they were naked. Their flesh rebelled against their minds only after their minds rebelled against God. Jesus had no temptations of the flesh because his mind never rebelled against God.
Response: I believe I shall see the Lord’s goodness in the land of the living.
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