Memorial of Saint Benedict, Abbot

“But the Pharisees said, “He drives out demons by the prince of demons.”” (Matthew 9:34.)

In commenting on these verses from today’s Gospel, Saint John Chrysostom writes:

“Now this healing especially vexed the Pharisees. They were disturbed that Jesus was being exalted above all others, not only those who are but all who had ever been. For he did what he did so easily and quickly. He cured diseases innumerable and otherwise incurable. The crowd exalted him. But the Pharisees continued to disparage his works, contradicting themselves unashamedly. Such a thing is wickedness — which finds itself desperately saying, “He casts out demons by the prince of demons.”

What could be more absurd than this! For in the first place, as he also says later on, it is impossible for demons to cast out demons. For it is a demon’s custom to clap in applause at the activities of his own kind, not oppose them. Second, not only did he himself cast out demons, but he also purified lepers, raised dead people, reined in the sea, canceled sins, proclaimed the kingdom and approached the Father. Demons would never choose to do these things and would not ever be able to accomplish them.” (The Gospel of Matthew: Homily, 32.)

O God,
who made the Abbot Saint Benedict
an outstanding master
in the school of divine service,
grant, we pray,
that, putting nothing before love of you,
we may hasten with a loving heart
in the way of your commands.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son,
Who lives and reigns with You
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.

Glory to the Father
and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning,
is now, and will be forever. Amen