Gospel: Lk 11:15-26
Yet some of them said, “He drives out demons by the power of Beelzebul, the chief of the demons.” Others wanted to put him to the test, by asking him for a heavenly sign.
But Jesus knew their thoughts, and said to them, “Every nation divided by civil war is on the road to ruin, and will fall. If Satan also is divided, his empire is coming to an end. How can you say that I drive out demons by calling upon Beelzebul? If I drive them out by Beelzebul, by whom do your sons drive out demons? They will be your judges, then.
But if I drive out demons by the finger of God; would not this mean that the kingdom of God has come upon you? As long as a man, strong and well armed, guards his house, his goods are safe. But when a stronger man attacks and overcomes him, the challenger takes away all the weapons he relied on, and disposes of his spoils.
Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me, scatters.
When the evil spirit goes out of a person, it wanders through dry lands, looking for a resting place; and finding none, it says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came.’ When it comes, it finds the house swept and everything in order. Then it goes to fetch seven other spirits, even worse than itself. They move in and settle there, so that the last state of that person is worse than the first.”
Prayer beads are used by members of various religious traditions such as Hinduism, Buddhism, Christianity, Islam, etc. to count the repetitions of certain prayers. The earliest prayer beads are found on Hindu statues dating from the 3rd century B.C.
Today’s celebration of Our Lady of the Rosary marks the anniversary of the decisive victory of the combined Christian forces in 1571 at the battle of Lepanto, defeating a Muslim fleet off the coast of Western Greece. Formerly it was sometimes called the feast of Our Lady of Victory.
In a way of speaking, to pray the Rosary is to perform an act of humility. Why? Because there is nothing particularly grand about repeating the same prayer 50 times, somewhat like a parrot endlessly muttering the same words. There is not much room for the mind to indulge in sublime considerations, as can happen during a meditation. The Rosary is the prayer of those who are tired, who have difficulty meditating, who cannot concentrate much for a variety of reasons. But, if prayed with a loving heart and a little effort to imagine the 15 Mysteries of the gospel highlighted in that prayer, it can become a path to holiness.