THURSDAY, THIRD WEEK OF LENT
Reading 1: Jer 7:23-28 Jeremiah relates the sad story of the disobedience of God’s Chosen People to his Law.
Gospel: Lk 11:14-23 Jesus rejects the accusation that he expels demons by Beelzebul and concludes that “he who is not with me is against me.”
IN THE NAME OF JESUS
Today’s Gospel reveals Jesus as the ‘Divine healer’. While he heals sicknesses and diseases and frees people from all illness and suffering, the Gospel focuses on a specific agenda. The Pharisees have an agenda of classifying Jesus under a particular type of power in order to be able to comprehend in their narrow, limited minds the works of his hands. Jesus also has a plan. A plan to remove from whom he loves, the power that is evil, which must be rebuked. The onlookers saw both these designs pan out in front of their eyes. And to anyone who believed, it was obvious that the kingdom of God was at hand. As soon as the mute demon left the man, the recipient of this marvelous miracle could speak.
When we are absorbed by evil (knowingly or unknowingly), we become blind to God’s vision, deaf to his calling and mute to praising his mighty name. We might find ourselves engaged in a monotonous rut disabling us from achieving anything worthwhile day after day. We are unable to speak blessing and favour, nor appreciate or be grateful for anything. Due to a similar influence, we might even discover that we subconsciously have a plan to put God under a microscope – doubting, guessing, analyzing his ways. Today, Jesus reminds us that he alone has command over the devil along with the Father and the Holy Spirit. And he loves us so much that by his cross, death and resurrection, he has freely granted this very same power to all those who believe in him and love him, that they may cast out demons in his name.
So, if today you hear his voice, let your hearts rejoice! In his name, you can rebuke the spirits of fear, anxiety, worry, restlessness and speak life, hope, courage, faith, peace and abundance in your life and the lives of others. “The seventy-two returned with joy and said, ‘Lord, even the demons submit to us in your name.’” Lk 10:17
Responsorial Psalm: Ps 95:1-2, 6-9 O that today you would listen to his voice! Harden not your hearts.
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