Rose Folsom explains a difficult parable by sharing her own story of giving in and trusting God to come through in the tough times.
I’ve never heard the parable of binding the strong man (see Mark 3:27) without seeing myself as either a weak or strong person who would or wouldn’t keep a thief from breaking in and plundering the house. And it wasn’t satisfying either way. If I’m the weak one, I’m just helpless and it’s pretty scary. If I’m the strong one … well, I’m not! And he gets tied up anyway. So I never really knew what to do with that story.
Until a homily last week.
The real strong man
Turns out the devil is the “strong man.” Jesus, infinitely stronger, enters human history and ties up the devil so he can’t plunder the souls of the weak ones—us. Suddenly, the parable makes sense. The devil is a thief of souls who knows where the chinks in our walls are and where we are likely to cave in to temptation. He prods and taps that spot, looking for the weakness in our defenses to crack.
But the thief has already been conquered on Calvary. He can threaten to break in, but we have a Stronger Man to stop him.
How it works
My enemy knows I’m attached to things running on schedule. Last Sunday, each member of our church group was to bring a key bit of information to keep our project moving. One team member forgot.
I looked at her in disbelief, feeling crushed that she had messed up our perfect plan.
At times like that, we have two choices: grind our teeth and nurse a new resentment, or squeeze Jesus’ hand a little tighter, look up, and say, “Jesus, this is Your project and You are the strong one here. Thank You for making things right.”
My protector came through at that stinging moment. He reminded me that nothing can thwart His divine plan.
Our Savior is the real strong man in the house. He asks us to simply hold His hand and depend on Him to win every battle for us, tie up every demon, and to patch every wall. His grace enables us to trust Him in difficult moments, and to relax into the eternal victory of His death and Resurrection.
Copyright 2022 Rose Folsom
Image: Deposit Photos, licensed by author
About the Author
Rose Folsom is founder of VirtueConnection.com, where she helps Catholics get closer to God by discovering how to practice virtues like patience and forgiveness. Join her membership group, Virtue Circle. She’s a convert and Lay Dominican who speaks, blogs, and leads retreats fueled on prayer and York peppermint patties. She and her husband, Fred, live in Silver Spring, Maryland.