Monday of the 3rd Week of the Year

Mk 3:22-30

Jesus and Beelzebul

OTHER HOMILY SOURCES from Mark Shea

2018 The Magical Thinking that Blinds…

JANUARY 29, 2018 BY MARK SHEA

…is under discussion by Yr. Obdt. Svt. over at Catholic Weekly:

I love magic.  When I was a boy, my brother did magic tricks that filled me with wonder.  Once, he made me invisible.  I remember running through the house, waving my hands in my parents’ faces and shouting, “Here I am!” while they looked straight at me and couldn’t see me.

My brother taught me wonder at an early age with his disappearing coins and flabbergasting card tricks.  I will be grateful to him till the day I die for suffusing my mind and heart with the idea that there were things in this world that were past our abilities to understand.

Of course, what my brother did was not really magic.  It was just sleight of hand. Clever trickery that I knew at some level to be naturally explicable.  Such “magic” is just prestidigitation.  It’s about getting you to look at the wrong place while the “magician” is doing something clever with his hand elsewhere.  It’s not “magic” in the sense that one is drawing on unearthly powers or familiar spirits or the demonic.  It’s just agility (albeit often agility that dresses itself in the costume of some adept of the mystic arts).  But the hocus pocus is just for show in all such “magic”.

Now the mention of hocus pocus brings us to a curious point.  Hocus pocus is a corruption, oddly enough, of the words of consecration in the Latin Mass–Hoc est enim corpus meum: This is my body.

This illustrates a problem that has troubled the Church off and on since the very beginning: the inability of some people to distinguish between grace and magic.

Jesus himself, for instance, was accused of doing cures and exorcisms by demonic power.  “He is possessed by Be-elzebul, and by the prince of demons he casts out the demons” (Mark 3:22) was the charge. (Jesus’ reply, of course, was that the very disciples of his critics drove out demons too, so by what power were they acting?  No.  If Satan is driving himself out he is a house divided.  That’s ridiculous, so Jesus must be acting with God’s power.)

On other occasions, the charge of occult power against Christians was not a criticism, but a seeming selling point.  The most famous such moment is seen in Acts 8:9-24, when a Samaritan magician named Simon joins a small stampede of new converts eager to get himself baptised. He quickly reveals he has not the faintest idea of the difference between sacramental grace and magic he has practiced.  When the apostles lay hands on new disciples in the sacrament of Confirmation and they begin to manifest the gifts of the Holy Spirit, all Simon can see is power.  He offers money to Peter in order to purchase such power (thereby lending his name to the sin of simony) and is properly rebuked by the apostle.

Various other scenes in Acts likewise distinguish between the magical impulse that seeks power apart from God and that of surrender to grace.  Elymas, a Jewish magician with a cushy place at the side of a Roman proconsul understood instinctively that Paul was a threat.  So did Paul, so he invoked the divine power of Jesus and rendered Elymas miraculously blind (Acts 13:4-12).

Another time, some exorcists in Ephesus tried to treat the Name of Jesus like a magic spell, saying to the demonic powers:

“I adjure you by the Jesus whom Paul preaches.” Seven sons of a Jewish high priest named Sceva were doing this. But the evil spirit answered them, “Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are you?” And the man in whom the evil spirit was leaped on them, mastered all of them, and overpowered them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded. (Acts 19:13-16)

So what’s the difference between magic and grace?  Both seem to involve some kind of supernatural power, after all.

Source: patheos.com/blogs/markshea/2018/01/magical-thinking-blinds.html

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Monday of the 3rd Week of the Year

Mk 3:22-30

Jesus and Beelzebul

OTHER HOMILY SOURCES from Kyrygma

2018 THE GOD APP When I was still a young priest, one of the FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) I got from people was about sin against the Holy Spirit. This is because of the Lord’s declaration: “Truly I tell you, people can be forgiven all their sins and every slander they utter, but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven; they are guilty of an eternal sin”(Mark 3:28-29, NIV).

What did Jesus mean when He said this? How could that be, when God is merciful? Jesus Himself reassured St. Faustina that His Divine Mercy is far greater than any sin ever committed. To clarify things, recall last week’s Gospel when people accused Jesus of being out of His mind; now, they are saying He is possessed by the evil spirit. The funny thing is, His detractors were also coming to Him, almost believing Him, though largely doubting His real powers and abilities. Here lies the danger of believing Jesus as holy and powerful, yet doubting He could really do something. This happens until now when we categorize certain things that God would do or could not do for us, like finding a parking space at the mall. We argue that God does not act on our requests because they are so petty and He listens only to serious problems. When we think that way, we not only doubt God’s power but also His generosity.

To sin against the Holy Spirit is to believe in a God who is powerless, who does not care, and, hence, could do nothing for us. It is unforgiveable not because it insults God but because the moment we think of Him as powerless, then He truly becomes powerless with us because we would not approach Him at all. How could God grant us the things we need, no matter how trivial, if we have made up our minds that He could not do anything for us?

In this age of smartphones and computers, people seem to trust more in the abilities of their gadgets than God’s. We have so many apps on our phones, like for traffic, music, and food, yet we forget that the best app is God, the only app we need. In fact, He is more than an app for He is a personal God relating with us. Fr. Nick Lalog

——- REFLECTION QUESTIONS ——- Can you spend 24 hours without your gadgets and rely more on God? If not, why?

Lord Jesus, we believe in Your power, Your mercy, Your love. You’re all that we need. Amen.

Source: kerygmafamily.com/modules/dailyreadings/read.php?date=2018-01-22

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Monday of the 3rd Week of the Year

Mk 3:22-30

Jesus and Beelzebul

OTHER HOMILY SOURCES from FaithND

2018 Prayer – January 22, 2018

Jen Wandor ‘14

“If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand.”

Jesus’ words in today’s Gospel speak to the divisions that frequently occur in the human experience. On this Day of Prayer for the Legal Protection of Unborn Children, we mourn the 45th year since the legalization of abortion in this country, which is arguably the greatest divider of the human race today.

We mourn the lives lost long before their time, the mothers and fathers who feel forced into this decision due to lack of support, the families torn apart, and the cultural betrayal of human dignity. When we see the gift of life as expendable, we disregard the dignity the unborn and all those whom we perceive as different—we become a kingdom divided against itself, a kingdom that cannot stand.

It is easy to become disheartened as we witness innumerable offenses against human life in our society. Since taking up the pro-life mission as a personal cause, I’ve discovered a constant need to re-energize my values by drawing strength from the witness of other people in my life who are building a culture of life.

Such people are all around us. Their actions encourage us and remind us how to live united in God’s kingdom. In my life, I find strength in my mom, who so lovingly cares for my ailing grandma; in my dad, who cherishes being a grandpa with his whole heart; and in my husband, who so patiently tries to fulfill my crazy pregnancy cravings.

As we continue to fight for the protection of the unborn—for the protection of all life—it is important to remember that we cannot stand if we are not united. It is vital that we rely on God and draw encouragement from the examples of the people God puts into our lives every day.

When we join this community of life, when we stand united to bring forth God’s kingdom and show consistent and genuine care for all vulnerable people, our witness will move others.

Source: faith.nd.edu/s/1210/faith/social.aspx?sid=1210&gid=609&pgid=39148

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Monday of the 3rd Week of the Year

Mk 3:22-30

Jesus and Beelzebul

OTHER HOMILY SOURCES from My Catholic Life book

The Sin Against the Holy Spirit

Monday of the Third Week in Ordinary Time

“Amen, I say to you, all sins and all blasphemies that people utter will be forgiven them.  But whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will never have forgiveness, but is guilty of an everlasting sin.” Mark 3:28-29

Now this is a frightening thought.  Normally when speaking of sin we quickly focus in on the mercy of God and His abundant desire to forgive.  But in this passage we have something that could at first appear quite contrary to the mercy of God.  Is it true that some sins will not be forgiven by God?  The answer is yes and no.

This passage reveals to us that there is a particular sin, the sin against the Holy Spirit, that will not be forgiven.  What is this sin?  Why would it not be forgiven?  Traditionally, this sin has been seen as a sin of final impenitence, or presumption.  It’s the situation where someone sins gravely and then either fails to have any sorrow for that sin or simply presumes on God’s mercy without truly repenting.  Either way, this lack of sorrow closes the door to God’s mercy.

Of course it must also be said that whenever a person’s heart is changed, and he/she grows in sincere sorrow for sin, God is there to immediately welcome that person back with open arms.  God would never turn away from someone who humbly returns to Him with a contrite heart.

Reflect, today, upon the abundant mercy of God, but also reflect upon your own duty to foster true sorrow for sin.  Do your part and you will be assured that God will lavish His mercy and forgiveness upon you.  There is no sin too great when we have hearts that are humble and contrite.

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the Living God, have mercy on me a sinner.  I do acknowledge my sin and I am sorry for it.  Help me, dear Lord, to continually foster within my heart a greater sorrow for sin and a deeper trust in Your divine mercy.  I thank You for Your perfect and unfailing love for me and for all.  Jesus, I trust in You

Source: mycatholic.life/books/catholic-daily-reflections-series/ordinary-time-weeks-1-17/third-week-in-ordinary-time/

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Monday of the 3rd Week of the Year

Mk 3:22-30

Jesus and Beelzebul

OTHER HOMILY SOURCES from Claretian Communications Foundation

2017 (January 23, 2017)

“The unforgivable sin“

Since last week we have been reading from the letter to Hebrews that spoke of Jesus as the High Priest of the New Covenant. As priest of the New Covenant he offered a sacrifice, once for all, for the forgiveness of sins.

Yet our Gospel speaks today of the “unforgivable sin!“ What is this sin that is beyond the power of the sacrifice of Jesus? Jesus speaks of this sin as the “sin against the Holy Spirit.“ What is this sin?

It is the refusal to accept the forgiveness that Jesus offers! The teachers of the law in our Gospel today refused to acknowledge Jesus. They refused to accept the power of Jesus to forgive sins. They refused to accept Jesus as their Lord. Even the Lord cannot forgive us if we refuse his offer of forgiveness!

Though we may sin often, yet must we always have the humility and the courage to return to Jesus and beg for his forgiveness! May we never doubt the unfathomable mercy of God!

Source: schoolofthewordonline.com/scriptural-library/daily-gospel/english/item/3773-january-23-2017

2018 (January 22, 2018)

THE HOLY SPIRIT

In the Scriptures, we can quote words of God the Father and of Jesus but we cannot find any word that we can attribute to the Holy Spirit. It is the aspect of the Holy Trinity that shows that God remains MYSTERIUM TREMENDUM. But in my expe¬rience it is the Holy Spirit that seems to be the one that is most active in my spiritual life. I love the feast of the Pentecost. I feel that the Holy Spirit realizes most of the aspirations of my life, enlightening me when I am in darkness or when confronted with difficult choices. I attribute to the Spirit the sudden insights the inspirations that sud¬denly present themselves to my mind. There are also unexpected events not only in my personal life but in our life as a people that I attribute to the Spirit — like EDSA1. When things seem to go all wrong and there is no solu¬tion in sight, the Holy Spirit acts in a manner exceeding our wildest imagination. Maybe that is why Je-sus kept on saying that when the Paraclete comes, she will teach the apostles all truth and they would begin to understand what Jesus was trying to tell them all along.

“Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and enkindle in us the fire of your love. Send forth your spirit and we shall be created and thou shalt renew the face of the earth!”

Source: schoolofthewordonline.com/scriptural-library/daily-gospel/english/item/4141-january-22-2018

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Monday of the 3rd Week of the Year

Mk 3:22-30

Jesus and Beelzebul

OTHER HOMILY SOURCES from Navchetana

2017 Monday of the 3rd Week in Ordinary Time

Heb 9: 15. 24-28; Ps 97: 1. 2-3ab. 3cd-4. 5-6; Mk 3: 22-30

There were several accusations against Jesus. He was casting out demons with the power of Satan (Beelzebul), he was gone out of mind, he was possessed; “Look, a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners” (Mat 11:19). How do we defend Jesus against these accusations?

The kingdom of God is opposed to the kingdom of Satan. Jesus argues how can Satan cast out Satan and says, “If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. Jesus clearly articulates that he is casting out demons by the power of the Holy Spirit or by the power of the word of God. Jesus saw his liberating activity and his healing ministry as a kind of power struggle with Satan. His activity is something stronger than Satan at work.

Look, a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners”. How do we understand this passage? The scandal Jesus caused by mixing with tax-collectors and sinners is meant that he accepted them and approved them and that he actually wanted to be a friend of tax-collectors and sinners. The company and conversation mattered more than the food. This is biblically known as Table-Fellowship

Jesus was accused as “glutton”. In fact he had no house and was taking rest on road side (Lk.9:58); he hired a room to give a meal to his disciples; he fasted forty days in wilderness and was thirsty and asked drinking water from a woman (Jn. 4: 6-8). He went for feasts either to “forgive sinners” (Lk 7: 36-50), or to question social discrimination (Lk 15: 2-3). He himself was feeding five thousand and was pondering to become bread of life by instituting the Eucharist.

Jesus was accused of “drunkard” and “entertains” the sinners. This is another false accusation. ‘One who drinks wine’ can be interpreted as one who enjoys the beauty of life, beauty of God’s creation; one who celebrates life and one who entertains with powerful original stories in a time where there was no radio, T.V. film shows. He was communicating God’s message with narrating inspiring stories in a dramatic style and people listened with pin-drop silence. Instead of drinking wine he provided abundance of wine (Jn 2:1-11)

Jesus didn’t care about the accusation; neither did he bother about the ‘scandal’ caused by his actions and the bad reputation. In an age friendliness toward any woman outside of one’s family could mean only one thing, his friendship with women would have ruined whatever name he still had (Lk. 7:39, Jn 4: 27). Jesus accepted the litany of accusations with a sense of humour. He was a wounded healer. It is like school children spill ink from the fountain pen to the teachers’ dress. It can be removed by quality ‘washing powder’ as the AD goes “stain is good’.  Jesus the Carpenter of the ‘household’ challenges us to smile and do not compromise when people revile us with baseless accusations.  Fr Shepherd Thelapilly CMI

Source: navchetana.com/web/homilies.php?date=2017-1-23

2018 Monday of the 3rd Week of Ordinary Time

2 Samuel 5:1-7, 10; Psalm 89:20-22, 25-26; Mark 3:22-30

Sins against the Holy Spirit

The Holy Spirit is the Third Person of the Most Holy Trinity. Equal with the Father and the Son, He is God. God forgives sins.

The Holy Spirit made the Blessed Mother conceive the Lord (cf. Lk 1:35). He descended on Jesus at the Jordan (cf. Mt 3:16, Mk 1:10, Lk 3:22, Jn 1:32-33). Jesus proclaimed that the Holy Spirit is in Him (Lk 4:18). Jesus forgives sins.

After rising from the dead, Jesus appeared to the Eleven in the Upper Room. He breathed on them and said, Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive anyone his sins, they are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven (Jn 20:22). Jesus gave power to His apostles; that power is the Holy Spirit Himself (cf. Acts 1:8). On Pentecost, the same Holy Spirit descended upon the early Christian community (cf. Acts 2:1-4). The Church, through the Apostles and their successors, forgives sins as ordained by God.

He who sins against the Holy Spirit rejects the very power behind the forgiveness of sins: God, the Holy Spirit, Himself. Thus, until he takes back His rejection of the Holy Spirit, he cannot be forgiven. How can he be forgiven when he does not accept the power that forgives? How can his sins be wiped out when he refuses to acknowledge the Holy Spirit who is God Himself, who is in Christ, and who resides in the Church? Thus, the sin against the Holy Spirit cannot be forgiven. But when he accepts the Holy Spirit present in Christ and His Church, then his unforgivable sin can be forgiven. Fr .Abraham Puthukulangara CMI

Source: navchetana.com/web/homilies.php?date=2018-01-22

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Monday of the 3rd Week of the Year

Mk 3:22-30

Jesus and Beelzebul

OTHER HOMILY SOURCES from Marino J. Dasmarinas

2015 Reflection for January 26, Monday; Sts.Timothy and Titus, Bishops; Mark 3:22-30 Reflection: What is the antidote to evil possession or who can defeat the devil? It’s no other than Jesus only Jesus can defeat the devil. As time progress the devil also progresses; before we only attribute the presence of the devil to evil possession.

But not anymore today! The devil of today doesn’t only present itself by way of evil possession. It presents itself in manifold ways such as: greed, lust enslavement to the modernity of time and so forth. Who can defeat the devil today? It’s still Jesus the same Jesus that defeated the devil in our gospel.

Jesus doesn’t change He is the same Jesus yesterday, today and tomorrow. His power to defeat the devil is still present today as it was present yesterday. But do we allow Jesus to dwell in our lives? Do we still have time for Him in this era of high-technology and high-definition gadgets?

We must at all times give time for Jesus so that we could always ward off the devil from our midst. If you always have Jesus in your life you give no room for the devil to dwell in your life.

Do you give time for Jesus? – Marino J. Dasmarinas

Source: mjdasma.blogspot.com/2015/01/reflection-for-january-26-monday.html

2017 (Friday, January 20, 2017)

Reflection for Monday January 23, Third Week in Ordinary Time; Mark 3:22-30

What comes to your mind when you hear or read about Satan? Is it the usual concept of a dark and frightening figure with horns, tail and fork?

The devil is real but it doesn’t appear as what we’ve usually conceived it to be. Often times it disguises itself using other means so that we would not be able to identify it. Satan is real, in fact he is always around us taking his time until it sees an opportunity to take control of us.

It disguises itself in the appearance of an attractive woman or an attractive man   whom we still crave to covet even if we’re already committed or married. It disguises itself through a friends who wants to bring us to sleazy clubs and other sinful places.

It masquerades as an uncontrollable sexual desire that tries very hard to take control of us. It presents itself in the form of money that will try to enslave and control us until such time that we already make it our God.

What is the antidote to this evil one? It’s your rock solid faith and friendship with Jesus. You therefore have to know more about Jesus by reading your bible and by your frequent presence at Holy Mass. So that you could easily ward off Satan the moment he presents himself to you. – Marino J. Dasmarinas

Source: mjdasma.blogspot.com/2017/01/reflection-for-monday-january-23-third.html

2018 (Friday, January 12, 2018)

Reflection for January 22, Monday of the Third Week; Mark 3:22-30

A young family would always go to church as a family and whenever there is a problem in their family. The father or mother would always see to it that they reconcile before the day is over. For to them God always wants a unified family. Indeed, God is an advocate of unity and for unity more so inside the family.

Yet the devil wants to destroy the unity of the family for the simple reason that the devil is for disunity, problem and conflict. For the simple reason that when there’s problem, disunity and conflict the evil one has the opportunity to come in and create more havoc.

In the gospel, Jesus talks about the importance of unity. He tells us; If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. And if a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand.

Unity indeed is very important and essential, for example in a family. What would happen If there’s no unity between the father and mother? Same as with friendship, how can friendship last if friends are not operating on the same wavelength?

The same is true if we are not united with Jesus in everyday of our lives. What would happen to us If we live our lives apart from Jesus? And if we stand by ourselves in this world? We end up with nothing but division, loneliness and evil. – Marino J. Dasmarinas

Source: mjdasma.blogspot.com/2018/01/reflection-for-january-22-monday-of.html

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