3rd Week in Ordinary Time (Year A) : Monday 23rd January 2023

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Lord, protect me from all evil

3rd Week in Ordinary Time (Year A) : Monday 23rd January 2023

Is. 8:23b—9:3; Ps. 26:1,4,13-14;
1 Cor. 1:10-13,17;
Mk. 4:12-23 (Ps. Wk. III)

Jesus allows Himself to be criticised by those who do not understand Him. In His time many Pharisees of good faith and the teachers of the law did not understand Jesus and were scandalised by Him. This was excusable (v.28 and cf. Mt.12:32).

Jesus’ family and relatives who couldn’t catch up with Him called Him mad and wanted to take charge of Him (v. 21). But later they knew Him more deeply, and their attitude changed and they became new brothers and sisters and a mother to Him by following Him.

In today’s Gospel reading, we find Jesus confronting the Pharisees and lawyers who have come from Jerusalem to see for themselves what Jesus is doing. They see Him heal and drive out evil spirits.  And what they see unsettles them and they say: He is in the power of Beelzebul (v. 22). Beelzebul, the name of an ancient idol, was a Jewish term for the Devil.

Jesus counters such perverse venom from these educated religious men with no-nonsense, rational, logical arguments, then with a warning. Concerning exorcisms, Jesus says if Satan has risen up against itself and is divided, his house cannot stand. Regarding the warning, Jesus says that every sin people commit will be forgiven, even insults to God, however numerous. But whoever sins against the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven; he carries the guilt of his sin forever (vs 28, 29). What severe a warning it is!! It is serious, for it is blasphemy.

 Lord Jesus! Give me eyes to recognise Your goodness  around me and in the world. Protect me from all evil. Amen.

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