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Tuesday, August 31, 1999

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1 Thessalonians 5:1-6, 9-11
Psalm 27
Luke 4:31-37

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keep it simple, stupid!

"He commands the unclean spirits with authority and power, and they leave." —Luke 4:36

"In the synagogue there was a man with an unclean spirit, who shrieked in a loud voice: 'Leave us alone!' " (Lk 4:33-34) "Jesus said to him sharply, 'Be quiet! Come out of him.' At that, the demon threw him to the ground before everyone's eyes and came out of him without doing him any harm" (Lk 4:35). Jesus met people who were demon-possessed; Jesus threw the demons out. Jesus is the same today as He was yesterday (Heb 13:8). He still throws out demons. He has specifically given His Church authority over demons (Mt 10:1), and promised that, if we believed in Him, we would do greater works than He did (Jn 14:12). We who are members of Jesus' Church can drive out demons today (see Mk 16:17). It's as simple as that.

It has become fashionable to complicate matters concerning throwing out demons. Some have arrogantly deemed it necessary to conjecture that the people of Jesus' time were not as smart as we are. They speculate: "Maybe they confused demonic possession with mental illness or even epilepsy. Maybe the Gospel writers simplified and summarized the process of deliverance and thereby made it look easier than it was." In our secular humanistic culture, we don't often see the scene described in today's Gospel reading. Therefore, we assume there is something wrong with the Bible or the obvious interpretation of the Bible's passages about demons. Of course, it is unthinkable that something might be wrong with our culture.

Think the unthinkable. Our culture is simply stupid in many ways. Keep it simple.

Prayer:  Father, show me my arrogance.

Promise:  "God has not destined us for wrath but for acquiring salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ. He died for us, that all of us, whether awake or asleep, together might live with Him." —1 Thes 5:9-10

Praise:  Martin's birthday is August 28th. He uses the numbers of the month and day of his birthday to find Scripture verses which can build up others. He tells people about Romans 8:28 — "We know that God makes all things work together for the good of those who love" Him.

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, February 22, 1999

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, February 24, 1999