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You are why we do what we do - report, describe, comment, review. It is to bring to your eyes just what life is like for believers across Asia that we publish UCAN.
But as you know, the effort needs to be sustained if it is to have continuing effect.
UCAN publishes some 150 stories a week in four languages across six websites. We are grateful to benefactors in Europe and the US who support us. But those countries and the Church there are under increasing financial strain and their generosity no longer covers our costs.
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Thanks in anticipation.
Fr. Michael Kelly SJ
Jesus, The Strong Man
- March 7, 2013
Why were the scribes and Pharisees so hostile to what Jesus did? Largely because he didn’t fit in with their assumptions. For them, religion was a matter of show and pretence, not of the compassionate heart. Jesus saw through them.
The Pharisees were annoyed that he helped the poor and ordinary folk so easily, but refused to concede them the spectacular sign they wanted.
Jesus bolsters his arguments with a peculiar metaphor. The world is in the thrall of the evil one, he says, just like an armed man who keeps watch over his house and property. But supposing one even stronger attacks him and takes possession of his house? Jesus says “I am that one even stronger and when I exorcize demons from the bodies of the sick, it shows that the reign of God is now present among you, bringing relationships of justice, compassion, generosity and good health.”
The metaphor continues: there’s no sense in expelling the demon from one’s soul, if the spirit of holiness doesn’t take its place. It’s like a well-furnished house – neat, clean, but empty. It almost begs to be broken into and occupied.
So too, a man’s soul. After the soul has been cleansed of its ways of sin, God’s spirit must be present and active in it. It can’t remain empty, without purpose, for long. It’s only the good spirit of Jesus, the Strong One of God, who has the force to keep us from being dominated by the evil one.
So here’s a point to ponder: is my soul like that? Neat and clean, but empty?