March 12, 2015 THURSDAY, 3rd WEEK OF LENT
Jer 7:23-28 / Lk 11:14-23
Reading: Jer 7:23-28
One thing I did command them: Listen to my voice and I will be your God and you will be my people. Walk in the way I command you and all will be well with you. But they did not listen and paid no attention; they followed the bad habits of their stubborn heart and turned away from me.
From the time I brought their forebearers out of Egypt until this day I have continually sent them my servants, the prophets, but this stiff-necked people did not listen. They paid no attention and were worse than their forebearers.
You may say all these things to them but they will not listen; you will call them but they will not answer. This is a nation that did not obey Yahweh and refused to be disciplined; truth has perished and is no longer heard from their lips.
Gospel: Lk 11:14-23
One day Jesus was driving out a dumb demon. When the demon had been driven out, the mute person could speak, and the people were amazed.
Yet some of them said, "He drives out demons by the power of Beelzebul, the chief of the demons." So 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 fellow members drive out demons? They will be your judge, then.
"But suppose 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 the strong and armed man guards his house, his goods are safe. But when a stronger one 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."
In the first reading, we are told that there are people who just will not listen to God. They are stubborn and have decided not to obey God. They find pleasure in sinning because it allows them to do what they enjoy doing like cheating to accumulate excessive wealth, engaging in sexual experiences outside of marriage, wasting the goods of the earth and destroying the environment, physically and emotionally hurting others. They are slaves of sin and their consciences have become flawed from repeated sinning. They live without any thought of God and have become depraved. They are slaves of the Evil One. How can such persons be freed from their sinfulness?
The answer to this question is in the Gospel reading. Only through the "finger of God" can demons be cast out. What is this "finger of God"? This refers to the Holy Spirit. Only Jesus who sends his Holy Spirit to save sinful men is strong enough to destroy the many forms of sin.
But the sinner must first come to Jesus for deliverance. He must make an admission of guilt before Jesus can cure him. We, as Christians, have the duty to let people know that Jesus can liberate man from any sin. But man must first acknowledge his faults and believe in the gratuitous love of God. Jesus came to cure sinners and not to exalt the righteous. Let us turn to Jesus when we are in the pit of sin and death. Let us hope in his merciful love and forgiveness.
Finally, we pray for one another, for those who have asked our prayers and for those who need our prayers the most.
Have a good day!
For the eternal repose of the soul of Medy Morada
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