Memorial of Saint Gregory the Great, Pope and Doctor of the Church Scriptural Readings: 1 Thessalonians 5:1-6, 9-11; Psalms 27:1, 4, 13-14; Luke 4:31-37
My dear encountered couples:
“I know who you are: the Holy One of God.” The demon in that man knew who Jesus was. But he still didn’t accept him.
Every devil in hell knows who Jesus is, they all know who God is. They are living a life of hell because they refuse to accept what they know, they refuse to let the truth affect their actions. They not only theorize there might be a God upon whom they rely for their very existence, they know it, they are absolutely sure of it. But they refuse to live by what they know. They refuse to let God and Christ into their lives. They prefer to live as if he didn’t exist.
That’s difficult for us to understand, isn’t it? Maybe if we really think about it we could understand it better. For most of us don’t always accept God either, do we? There are times when we ignore what we know is so.
When we sin it is because we choose to ignore what we know to be factually true. When we choose to break some precept or teaching of Christ, sort of suspend it for a period of time, we are acting to some extent like the devils. We are saying to God, “I know who you are, I know what you want me to do, but right now I’m going to live as if you aren’t.”
That’s sort of like the child who has homework to do, knows it is due tomorrow, but prefers to act as if he has none - and watches television instead. Devils are those who are always acting as if there is no homework, as if there is no tomorrow, as if there is no day of reckoning. It might be hard for us to imagine ourselves being like them, but perhaps there’s a little devil in all of us.
And it isn’t funny. Let’s ask Jesus to expel it.