Locusts and Demons
- Reading I: Joel 1:13-2:1 (passim)
- Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 9
- Gospel Reading: Luke 11:15-26
The Book of Joel
The Book of Joel is dated to about the 4th century BC, and the prophet’s ministry, to some time before that but within the time of the second temple, and after Obadiah (5th century BC).
Below is an illustration of how the book of Joel is presented during Friday and Saturday of the 27th Week of Ordinary Time (Year I).
A great plague of locusts occassions the prophetic oracle of Joel. Here, the insects are pictured like an invading army, spreading as they approach. Just as the sun’s rays fill the valley with light at dawn, so too, locusts fill up the sky and the earth in their attack. The sight must have been so terrible that Joel describes it in apocalyptic terms as "the Day of the Lord."
Demonology and Exorcism
Along the way to Jerusalem, Jesus continues to drive away demons. But while others ask for more signs (cf. v. 29), some others cast doubt on the authority by which He casts out impure spirits. This tract on exorcism has been placed here by Luke because as Jesus nears Jerusalem, resistance to him becomes increasingly more human.
The response of Jesus to the accussation that he casts by the power of Beelzebul (The Lord of the Flies) is answered in three ways:. The first answer assumes that He is of Beelzebul: if he is of Beelzebul and he is casting out demons, then there must be a division within the former’s kingdom. The casting out of demons therefore is a sign of the weakening of the Devil’s kingdom and its imminent collapse. The second answer continues the previous assumption that He is of Beelzebul, but he casts doubt on the authority of other exorcists on Judaism. If there is one exorcist found who is working with Beelzebul, perhaps there were others too? The third answer, works on a condition: If it comes to light that Jesus is not of Beelzebul, but is working with authority coming from God, then it is a sign that the reign of God has proleptically come.
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