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Devils May Be Powerful, but We Can do Something They Cannot Do: Say to Jesus: I Know You
I was teaching a class this past week, and I needed to use a PowerPoint presentation. But I could not get it to work. There were hundreds of wires connecting the computer to the white smart board. One of the students went to get the technician. He came in, looked at the wires, and said to me, “You need to turn on the power for it to work. I asked, “Where is the start button,” and he replied, “Behind all the wires.
Devils and demons do not have to deal with all the complicated technology. They also do not need to go to school, take exams, and study hard to get ahead. They know everything about the universe. Devils do not wake up in the morning with a backache and have to go to work. If they lock themselves out of the house, they don’t care. They just walk through closed doors. Devils and demons have lots of power, abilities, and knowledge to do great things and to help people, but they don’t.
When my brother turned sixteen, he went to work with my father for the first time. When he got home that afternoon, his t-shirt and face were covered with black soot. I asked him, “What happened to you?” He replied, “Fire job; we gutted a house.” That is what he said, but what he was thinking was “I am not doing this for a living.” He eventually went to college, got great grades, sold his stock options, and retired early. Ironically, Dad still works at 91 years old.
When my other brother turned sixteen, he went to work with my father. When he came home, I asked him, “What happened to you?” He replied, “Roof job.” That is what he said. But I knew what I was thinking. “I am not doing this for the rest of my life.” He went to school and obtained a doctorate in chemistry. Now he drives around in a luxury car and takes scientists out for dinner.
When I turned sixteen, I went to work for my father. We got up very early in the morning before anyone else and put on heavy work boots. We then put a 40-foot ladder from the roof racks of the truck and drove in traffic for an hour. I carried up an 80-pound bundle of shingles on my shoulders for the rest of the day. When I got home, I, like my brothers, had deep insight. I knew something I never knew before. For the first time in my life, I could say, “I know my father.” Now I know why he took naps when he came home from work. I know why he liked to fish on weekends at quiet ponds away from noisy construction noise.
In the Gospel of Mark, the first person to recognize Jesus as God is a demon. He tells Jesus that he knows Him and that He is the son of God. Then Jesus tells him to be silent. Why? The demon says that he knows Jesus, but he doesn’t. To know Jesus, you have to do what He does. Jesus uses all of His knowledge and power to help people.
The devils never yell at Jesus, never protest, or even seem to hate. They acknowledge Him, recognize His power, and even ask for favors. When I go to church, I recognize Jesus and ask for favors. What is so special about that? Even devils do that. What makes us different is when we go out and use all of our knowledge and skills to help people. We can go to church and do something devils cannot do. We can say to Jesus, “I know you.”Back to All Homilies