Saturday, March 07, 2015

Third Sunday in Lent

Midway through the Lenten season...  we are reminded of things to avoid in our lives - from obvious sins, fornication, uncleanness and covetousness to participation in foolish talk and obscenity.   Do not even keep company with such, because you are called to walk as children of the Light and to become saints!

In the Gospel today, Jesus casts out the unclean spirit of a man who was dumb and then he was able to speak.  Some accused Him of casting out demons by Beelzebub or Satan and Jesus answered them saying "a kingdom divided against itself shall be brought to desolation, and house upon house shall fall."  Satan is not dividing his house, it was by God that the unclean spirit was cast out!    The caution, however, is to be on your guard!  When the unclean spirit is gone and the house is cleaned out - it is very inviting to other evil spirits and if you're not prepared and defend yourself - you will find the original unclean spirit has returned with seven more, and this state is worse than the previous!  "Blessed are you who hear the Word of God - AND KEEP IT!"  Hearing alone, accepting alone is not enough - you must hold on to His Word and keep it!  Let us be strong in His Word and embrace Him until He returns again, or we return to Him.

Readings according to the Extraordinary Rite:

Epistle - Ephesians 5:1-9

Be ye therefore followers of God, as most dear children;
And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath delivered himself for us, an oblation and a sacrifice to God for an odour of sweetness.
But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not so much as be named among you, as becometh saints:
Or obscenity, or foolish talking, or scurrility, which is to no purpose; but rather giving of thanks.
For know you this and understand, that no fornicator, or unclean, or covetous person (which is a serving of idols), hath inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.
Let no man deceive you with vain words. For because of these things cometh the anger of God upon the children of unbelief.
Be ye not therefore partakers with them.
For you were heretofore darkness, but now light in the Lord. Walk then as children of the light.
For the fruit of the light is in all goodness, and justice, and truth;

Gospel - Luke 11:14-28

14 And he was casting out a devil, and the same was dumb: and when he had cast out the devil, the dumb spoke: and the multitudes were in admiration at it:
15 But some of them said: He casteth out devils by Beelzebub, the prince of devils.
16 And others tempting, asked of him a sign from heaven.
17 But he seeing their thoughts, said to them: Every kingdom divided against itself, shall be brought to desolation, and house upon house shall fall.
18 And if Satan also be divided against himself, how shall his kingdom stand? because you say, that through Beelzebub I cast out devils.
19 Now if I cast out devils by Beelzebub; by whom do your children cast them out? Therefore they shall be your judges.
20 But if I by the finger of God cast out devils; doubtless the kingdom of God is come upon you.
21 When a strong man armed keepeth his court, those things are in peace which he possesseth.
22 But if a stronger than he come upon him, and overcome him; he will take away all his armour wherein he trusted, and will distribute his spoils.
23 He that is not with me, is against me; and he that gathereth not with me, scattereth.
24 When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through places without water, seeking rest; and not finding, he saith: I will return into my house whence I came out.
25 And when he is come, he findeth it swept and garnished.
26 Then he goeth and taketh with him seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and entering in they dwell there. And the last state of that man becomes worse than the first.
27 And it came to pass, as he spoke these things, a certain woman from the crowd, lifting up her voice, said to him: Blessed is the womb that bore thee, and the paps that gave thee suck.
28 But he said: Yea rather, blessed are they who hear the word of God, and keep it.

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