Sunday Devotional: The Twelve drove out many demons

Mark 6:7-13

Jesus summoned the Twelve and began to send them out two by two
and gave them authority over unclean spirits.
He instructed them to take nothing for the journey
but a walking stick—
no food, no sack, no money in their belts.
They were, however, to wear sandals
but not a second tunic.
He said to them,
“Wherever you enter a house, stay there until you leave.
Whatever place does not welcome you or listen to you,
leave there and shake the dust off your feet
in testimony against them.”
So they went off and preached repentance.
The Twelve drove out many demons,
and they anointed with oil many who were sick and cured them.

The above passage from Mark 6 is the gospel reading for today, but I predict that the priest at Mass at my parish this morning will not make any mention of the Devil or of demons or of demonic possession or of our Lord Jesus Christ having given priests the power to drive out demons.


UPDATE: As I had predicted, in his homily today, the new pastoral administrator at my parish ignored today’s gospel reading entirely. Not a word about the Devil, or of sin, or of  demonic possession, or of the awesome power and authority Jesus had conferred on him as a successor of the Twelve.


Only one of the following three can be true:

  1. The author of the Gospel of Mark was lying.
  2. Jesus was delusional in believing there are demons and that He has  the authority and the ability to cast out demons — an ability He conferred on His twelve Apostles and their successors.
  3. Mark was telling the truth, which makes any priest or minister who refuses to address this subject a coward, at best, or at worst, a liar by omission.

CNS News reported that a 2013 Harris Poll found that although a majority (74%) of U.S. adults still said they believed in God, only 58% or fewer than 6 out of every 10 American adults believed in the Devil. That percentage can only be even lower today. Those Americans must think that Jesus was lying or hallucinating when He exorcised demons.

“The finest trick of the devil is to persuade you that he does not exist. (La plus belle des ruses du diable est de vous persuader qu’il n’existe pas.)” -Charles Baudelaire, Le Joueur généreux, 1864.

How can we armor ourselves against the Devil if we don’t even believe he exists? No wonder Americans increasingly are debauched and depraved.

What’s the best defense against the Devil and demonic possession?

Be faithful to the First and Greatest Commandment of All (Matthew 22:37):

Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.

And may the peace and love of Jesus Christ, our Lord, be with you,


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Gracie Storvika
Gracie Storvika
6 months ago

Wonderful Sabbath Day lesson. I don’t know about others, but I find it profoundly sad that little by little, people all around the world are leaving behind the very Gospel tenets that for centuries helped to create good, safe, moral communities for the followers of God to live in. Now, it would seem that these “notions” are but a passing fancy–to be cast aside, and we all wander in this great abyss of lawlessness.

6 months ago

How can anyone believe in God, the character of GOOD, but NOT believe in the Devil, the character of EVIL? Does this not represent a Celestial “balance of power” in its purest, most basic form? Besides, wouldn’t anyone who pays any attention at all to the circumstances he or she encounters in life be able to recognize the influences responsible for good things or bad things that have happened to him or her as either “good” or “evil” at some point?

Tim Shey
6 months ago

I have been delivered of probably hundreds of demons over many years. The anointing breaks the yoke of sin.

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6 months ago

Thank you Dr.E for this most important and insightful post. It completely stuns me that there are so many individuals who deny the existence of the devil, given the numerous times Jesus spoke of the devil and his demons, wherein he also spoke about hell. Our priest speaks of the devil regularly in his sermons, referring to him as “furnace.boy,” addressing his temptations given to us to make us sin and fail and how we defeat such temptations through Our Lord Jesus Christ, reminding us how much Jesus loves us and how much we should love Him with all our hearts, minds, and with everything we are. Of course, the closing prayer recited at the end of Mass is the prayer to St. Michael the Archangel, the Prince of the Church and our most spectacular and wonderful patron.
Thank you again Dr. E for this significant and inspirational post. May God continue to bless you with many graces and heavenly gifts.