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Turning the Curse Around

Submitted by on Friday, 10 October 2008No Comment
  • Reading I: Galatians 3:7-14
  • Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 111:1-2,5-6
  • Gospel: Luke 11:15-26

The Law’s Curse Turned Around

Christ ransomed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us,
for it is written, Cursed be everyone who hangs on a tree,
that the blessing of Abraham might be extended
to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus,
so that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith

It took years of Christian reflection on the mystery of the cross before Paul could make the above-quoted line. We see this Christian reflection specially in the Passion Narratives, the oldest layer of the Gospel writings. Here, we see Paul using the conviction drawn from this meditation — that Christ has been vindicated by God in His glorification — in order to highlight the inability of the Law to redeem by itself. Not only that, he also tells the Galatians that Christ has made his own the just demands of the Law for sin: death.

When A Demon Leaves

Jesus’ reply to those who accuse him of working for the Devil can be outlined as follows:

  1. If it is true that Jesus is in the kingdom of Satan, then his deeds of driving out demons manifests a divided kingdom.
  2. Other Jews drive out demons; are they under the kingdom of Satan too?
  3. If Jesus drives out demons by the finger of God, then it must be admitted that the kingdom of God has arrived. 1
  4. Jesus is the strong man who has bound up Satan (see the Temptations in the Desert) and is now taking control

The teaching that follows is about filling up what a demon that has been exorcised leaves behind. To prevent him from going back, the “house” that has been left, must become inhabited. What should be inhabiting it? You can choose from below and you would be right:

  1. the Holy Spirit
  2. the Word of God
Galatians 3:7-14
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg Greek
7Know ye therefore, that they who are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham.
8And the scripture, foreseeing, that God justifieth the Gentiles by faith, told unto Abraham before: In thee shall all nations be blessed.
9Therefore they that are of faith, shall be blessed with faithful Abraham.
10For as many as are of the works of the law, are under a curse. For it is written: Cursed is every one, that abideth not in all things, which are written in the book of the law to do them.
11But that in the law no man is justified with God, it is manifest: because the just man liveth by faith.
12But the law is not of faith: but, He that doth those things, shall live in them.
13Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written: Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree:
14That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Christ Jesus: that we may receive the promise of the Spirit by faith.
Psalm 111:1-2,5-6
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg LXX Hebrew
1I will praise thee, O Lord, with my whole heart; in the council of the just: and in the congregation.
2Great are the works of the Lord: sought out according to all his wills.
5He hath given food to them that fear him. He will be mindful for ever of his covenant:
6He will shew forth to his people the power of his works.
Luke 11:15-26
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg Greek
15But some of them said: He casteth out devils by Beelzebub, the prince of devils.
16And others tempting, asked of him a sign from heaven.
17But he seeing their thoughts, said to them: Every kingdom divided against itself, shall be brought to desolation, and house upon house shall fall.
18And if Satan also be divided against himself, how shall his kingdom stand? because you say, that through Beelzebub I cast out devils.
19Now if I cast out devils by Beelzebub; by whom do your children cast them out? Therefore they shall be your judges.
20But if I by the finger of God cast out devils; doubtless the kingdom of God is come upon you.
21When a strong man armed keepeth his court, those things are in peace which he possesseth.
22But if a stronger than he come upon him, and overcome him; he will take away all his armour wherein he trusted, and will distribute his spoils.
23He that is not with me, is against me; and he that gathereth not with me, scattereth.
24When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through places without water, seeking rest; and not finding, he saith: I will return into my house whence I came out.
25And when he is come, he findeth it swept and garnished.
26Then he goeth and taketh with him seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and entering in they dwell there. And the last state of that man becomes worse than the first.

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  1. This second answer is also directed to those who ask for heavenly signs. Even exorcisms are heavenly signs that validate Jesus’ work []

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