Today I’m over at Ignitum Today discussing the one thing all evil has in common:
Tomorrow’s Gospel recounts Jesus healing a demon-possessed man, and while reading it I was struck by one word:
In the passage a demon screams out to Christ:
“What do you want with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us?”
How strange that this demon speaks not in the singular but in the plural? How odd that its identity is grounded not on unity but on dissonance?
We see the same mode of speech later on when Jesus heals another demon-possessed man in Gerasene. There the Lord asks, “What is your name?” and the demon replies:
“My name is Legion for we are many.”
In both cases, this plural language reveals an important fact: all evil is based on division. Demonic forces take a man, whole and complete, and rip him apart, dividing him into discord. The very etymology of the word “diabolical” confirms this. According to Archbishop Fulton Sheen, the word comes from two Greek words, “dia” and “ballein”, which together can mean “to tear apart” or “to scatter”.