Thursday of the Third Week of Lent




Thursday of the Third Week of Lent

Today’s Audio Mass Readings – Lectionary: 240

1st Reading – JER 7:23-28

Thus says the LORD:
This is what I commanded my people:
Listen to my voice;
then I will be your God and you shall be my people.
Walk in all the ways that I command you,
so that you may prosper.

But they obeyed not, nor did they pay heed.
They walked in the hardness of their evil hearts
and turned their backs, not their faces, to me.
From the day that your fathers left the land of Egypt even to this day,
I have sent you untiringly all my servants the prophets.
Yet they have not obeyed me nor paid heed;
they have stiffened their necks and done worse than their fathers.
When you speak all these words to them,
they will not listen to you either;
when you call to them, they will not answer you.
Say to them:
This is the nation that does not listen
to the voice of the LORD, its God,
or take correction.
Faithfulness has disappeared;
the word itself is banished from their speech.

Responsorial Psalm – PS 95:1-2, 6-7, 8-9

R. (8) If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts.
Come, let us sing joyfully to the LORD;
let us acclaim the Rock of our salvation.
Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving;
let us joyfully sing psalms to him.
R. If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts.
Come, let us bow down in worship;
let us kneel before the LORD who made us.
For he is our God,
and we are the people he shepherds, the flock he guides.
R. If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts.
Oh, that today you would hear his voice:
“Harden not your hearts as at Meribah,
as in the day of Massah in the desert,
Where your fathers tempted me;
they tested me though they had seen my works.”
R. If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts.

Verse Before The Gospel – JL 2:12-13

Even now, says the LORD,
return to me with your whole heart,
for I am gracious and merciful.

Gospel – LK 11:14-23

Jesus was driving out a demon that was mute,
and when the demon had gone out,
the mute man spoke and the crowds were amazed.
Some of them said, “By the power of Beelzebul, the prince of demons,
he drives out demons.”
Others, to test him, asked him for a sign from heaven.
But he knew their thoughts and said to them,
“Every kingdom divided against itself will be laid waste
and house will fall against house.
And if Satan is divided against himself,
how will his kingdom stand?
For you say that it is by Beelzebul that I drive out demons.
If I, then, drive out demons by Beelzebul,
by whom do your own people drive them out?
Therefore they will be your judges.
But if it is by the finger of God that I drive out demons,
then the Kingdom of God has come upon you.
When a strong man fully armed guards his palace,
his possessions are safe.
But when one stronger than he attacks and overcomes him,
he takes away the armor on which he relied
and distributes the spoils.
Whoever is not with me is against me,
and whoever does not gather with me scatters.”

Catholic Daily Reflections

Speaking the Word of God, Freely

Saint John of God, Religious

Jesus was driving out a demon that was mute, and when the demon had gone out, the mute man spoke and the crowds were amazed. Luke 11:14

What hinders you from speaking the Word of God openly, honestly and clearly? There are so many people who are in dire need of the Gospel. There are so many people who are confused in life and find themselves walking down the wrong road, a road leading to greater confusion and destruction. And we remain silent as they travel this road. Why?

The Gospel above speaks of a man who was mute as a result of a demon. When this demon was driven out by Jesus, the mute man spoke and many were amazed. Most likely this man was fully possessed by this demon and the oppression he experienced disabled his ability to even speak. Upon his release from this demonic influence, he spoke freely.

Though we may not experience demonic influence to the same degree, we are often hindered and oppressed by similar mute spirits. The evil one often tries to influence us in such a way that we are fearful of proclaiming the Gospel freely, sincerely and immediately to those who are in most need of the message God wants communicated to them. “Mute spirits” can often hinder us, confuse us or fill us with a certain fear when the opportunity arises to share our faith with another. Though it may be rare to fall completely into their power, we are often left influenced and hindered by them nonetheless.

Reflect, today, upon the reality of these vile spirits and their attempts to silence us, keeping us from speaking the message of truth that so many people need to hear. We ought not fear their influence. Jesus has complete power over all such spirits and will not hesitate to silence their influence over us if we let Him. He wants to free us to speak His message of love without reserve so that others will come to know Him and His perfect love. Let Him use you as one such instrument of truth and love.

Lord, at times I am given over to fear when You call me to speak Your words of love to those in need. I feel as though I am muted in my speech, confused about what to say. Please free me, dear Lord, to be a holy instrument of Your Word and to confidently proclaim Your truth to those who are in much need. Jesus, I trust in You.

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