The seventy-two came back rejoicing. ‘Lord,’ they said, ‘even the devils submit to us when we use your name.’ He said to them, ‘I watched Satan fall like lightning from heaven. Look, I have given you power to tread down serpents and scorpions and the whole strength of the enemy; nothing shall ever hurt you. Yet do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you; rejoice instead that your names are written in heaven.’ Just at this time, filled with joy by the Holy Spirit, he said, ‘I bless you, Father, Lord of heaven and of earth, for hiding these things from the learned and the clever and revealing them to little children. Yes, Father, for that is what it has pleased you to do. Everything has been entrusted to me by my Father; and no one knows who the Son is except the Father, and who the Father is except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.’ Then turning to his disciples he spoke to them by themselves, ‘Blessed are the eyes that see what you see, for I tell you that many prophets and kings wanted to see what you see, and never saw it; to hear what you hear, and never heard it.’
It is well understandable that the disciples enjoyed the power to cast out the evil spirits, for these plague people, and helping people to get rid of this plague is certainly a good work. In various passages of the Gospel we hear how people came to their senses after the evil spirits had left them (e.g. Cf. Mk 5:15).
This ministry of deliverance is still important today, because people are no less plagued by these spirits than in earlier times, and it is the task of the Church to overcome the power of the evil spirits in the name of Jesus. Jesus has given the authority to do this, and all the power of the enemy, as the above text says, is to be defeated.
Even if the concrete exorcism of evil spirits from possessed persons is usually given to priests with a special mission, all Christians are given to weaken the powers of evil in spiritual warfare.
A particularly good means of doing this is the Holy Rosary, that simple yet powerful prayer.
Why does the Rosary in particular have such a strong power against the powers of evil?
First of all, it has to do with the connection to Mary, the Mother of God. The constant repetition of the angel’s greeting to the Virgin makes the salvific event of Nazareth present and honours especially the Mother of the Lord, who followed the will of God completely and said the yes to God for all mankind. By contemplating this fact again and again, God’s saving action is updated. By contemplating the mysteries of salvation, the victory of the Lord over the powers of evil is praised again and again in many stations, and so with every sincere prayer the light of God spreads!
In this wonderful prayer we find all the important elements again: the confession of faith, the adoration of God, the Lord’s Prayer, the contemplation of the mysteries of salvation, the honouring of Mary and the request for her intercession.
Thus, in this prayer, which is intended to deepen our love for God and Mary, we are at the same time given a powerful remedy against the forces of evil, which we should also use. Even if this is not the first aspect of prayer, we must not neglect this effect, because the weakening of the devil is necessary so that the light of God can reach people more easily!
But the disciples should rejoice and be glad about something else, namely that the grace of God has found them and they have responded. God himself and his goodness is a constantly flowing source of joy, and Saint Paul reminds us that we should rejoice at all times (Phil 4:4). We are allowed to rejoice because the glory of Christ has been revealed to us and we hear and see what kings and prophets wanted to see and hear, but which had not yet been given to them (cf. Lk 10:24).
With Jesus we praise our heavenly Father, who revealed all this to children (cf. Mt 11:25)! It is not the greatness of intellect, the wealth and prestige in this world that counts in the Kingdom of God, but the simple heart that has received the truths of God and lives them!
It is often precisely the simple people who respond to Our Lady’s invitation to pray the Rosary, which she asked for in some apparitions. When an army of sincere prayers is formed – and the Rosary prayers are an enormous support in this – then the power of Jesus, which he gave to his disciples, will also be seen in this way to overcome all the power of the enemy.