Friday of the 27th Week of the Year

Luke 11:15-26

Jesus and Beelzebul

OTHER HOMILY SOURCES:

Beelzebul was the chief god of the Philistines, ancient enemies of the Israelites. By the time of Jesus, he had the title of the prince of devils. That opponents of Jesus would accuse him of casting demons by the power of Beelzebul shows us how deep was their hostility to him. It was difficult for Jesus to turn that argument around by asking them how could Satan be so stupid as to work against his own interests.

Then Jesus zeroes in on the crux of the matter, which his opponents have bee avoiding by their not so clever arguments. It is the matter of the real source of Jesus’ power. If it is by the finger of God that he expels, then truly the reign of God is upon them and the whole way of life will be challenged. So they resort to the old, familiar tactic: discredit the teacher.

We may find this coming home to us if we look into our hearts. What defense mechanism do we use to avoid accepting our sinfulness? How many people have we put down in one way or another so as not to accept the truth they witness to? The Lord offers us salvation. Take care that our blindness does not make our last state worse than our first. (Fr. John O’Mahony, SVD Bible Diary 2002)

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Many of us are familiar with the dilemma of a priest expressed in an article entitled: “A Priest Is Always Wrong” which says the following:

If he starts the Mass on time, people say his watch is wrong

But if he waits for people, they say he has never been punctual

If he preaches too long, they say they get bored.

But if his homily is too short, they say he is unprepared.

If he asks for donation, they say he is greedy

But if he does not ask, they say he is proud and lazy.

If he visits houses, they say he is always out

But if he stays in the convent, they say that he has no time for them.

If he is too young, they say he has no experience

But if he is too old, they say he should retire.

But when a priest dies, NOBODY can take his place

Why am I telling you this? Maybe, this is also a way to describe how the Pharisees in today’s gospel perceived Jesus. They accused him as “somebody working for Beelzebul, the prince of demons” after driving out a devil from somebody. Before the eyes of the scribes and Pharisees, Jesus can never do right. Whatever moves he made, Jesus was always wrong. Whatever he did to people whether to heal, to teach, to preach, to forgive, to pray or to show compassion to those who were in need, they had always something to say in the form of criticism or accusation. Jesus simply couldn’t please them.

In fact, he continued to duffer rejection ‘til his death on the cross.

How do we perceived Jesus at the moment? It is possible that Jesus can always be wrong when we don’t get the things we want and pray for. Can he always be right with us? We pray today that we always accept whatever we receive from God whether it is “right or wrong”. God knows what is exactly is best for us at the moment we ask something from Him. He can never be wrong when it comes to us, for “God is love.” (Fr. Gerry Donato, SVD Bible Diary 2004)

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The Devil divides and kills but not Jesus. Jesus unites and gives life. Jesus cures, restores health and raise people up.

Jesus drives out demons by the power of Beelzebul ,the prince of demons? What a joke! (Fr. Glann Paul M. Gomez, SVD Bible Diary 2006)

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One evening an old Indian told his grandson about a battle that goes on inside all people. He said: “My son, the battle is between two ‘wolves’ inside us all. One is ‘Evil’. It is anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority and ego.

“The other is ‘Good’. It is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, consideration and faith.” The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather “Which wolf wins?” the old Indian simply replied: “The one you feed.”

In the gospel today it is clear as to who represents Evil and who represents Good. Jesus is speaking about the presence of the Holy Spirit in him. But the scribes could not recognize the presents of the Holy Spirit in Jesus even with the many signs that he was showing. Filled with all the qualities attributed to Evil, they comment, “It is by the power of Beelzebul that he drives out demons.”

But Jesus doesn’t let go of their assumptions or walk away from their accusations, Jesus is not afraid of conflict, as we see throughout the gospels. He’s ready to press his listeners to greater self-awareness, greater consciousness of their own minds and behavior. So he hammers away at what their interpretation would lead to: Satan destroying Satan – an absurdity! He then invites them to see another meaning: “If it is by the finger of God that I drive out demons, then the Kingdom of God has come upon you! (Fr. Deva Savariyappan, SVD Bible Diary 2007)

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“Is the devil a myth or a reality? Is Satan still alive today in our modern times?” question posed to me by a church goer one day.

“Why?” I asked giving him an angelic smile. He countered: “Because I seldom hear priests talk about them anymore. Sometimes, I wonder what happened to them”

The subject of the devil is indeed very rarely dealt with in modern-day catechetics. The secularized and computerized mentality of our times has relegated the figure of the devil to mythology or folklore.

On the other hand, there is still an increasing interest for Exorcist-like films, occultism and even “Cult of Satan,” a reality widespread throughout many countries.

What’s the real score?

1)      St. Padre Pio (canonized 2002) said: “The greatest work of the devil in this modern era is to convince us that he does not exist….but I see him around me all the time!”

This stigmatized Capuchin priest of San Giovanni Rotondo, Italy had lots of experiences to share about his many encounters with devils among his many penitents both in and out of the confessional.

His special vocation was to help his spiritual sons and daughters from the snares of Satan. Thus he offered himself as a victim of love for sinners….an offering which culminated in his receiving the visible stigma, i.e. the five holy wounds of Jesus in the cross. For 50 long years, Padre Pio bore “Jesus’ marks” on his own body, which made him the first Catholic stigmatized priest.

2)      The Bible calls the devil by various names like “Satan” which means, “Adversary” and “Accuser.” Also, Lucifer, Beelzebul, Evil one, tempter, seducer, liar, the prince of this world, ancient serpent, a murderer from the beginning.

3)      The devils, led by Beelzebul (today’s gospel) may look like “funny caricatures” to many of us but evidently their works are made manifest through the chaos, violence and brokenness in the world today.

The mission of Jesus in the gospel is our mission too, as His disciples. In other words, the spiritual warfare continues…. It is not possible to stay neutral nor make a compromise with the evil one.

Jesus Himself says, “Whoever is not with me is against me and whoever does not gather with me scatters,” (Luke 11:23). (Fr. Romy Castro, SVD Bible Diary 2008)

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What would we say if Jesus were to live again and perform the same miracles of multiplying loaves of bread to feed millions of people who are hungry now? What would we say if he raises the dead again to console the pain of grieving mothers of sons dying in so many wars and violence in our world today? What would we say if he answers every prayer of parents, children and friends suffering from cancer, AIDS, malaria, drug addiction and other serious diseases? What we say depends very much on whether we are people with deep faith or no faith at all.

People with deep faith would say that miracles reveal the presence and the power of God at work in human life. God is in control of human life and activity. People with no faith at all would probably say that there is nothing extraordinary with such events since all things can be explained by science and technology. Today’s gospel tells us how people reacted when they saw the wonders that Jesus was doing in front of their eyes. People of no faith at all, like the Pharisees and scribes, said that there was nothing spectacular in what Jesus did. In fact, some went further to accuse Jesus of being “in league with devil,” and that he performed miracles not by the power of God, but by “the power of Beelzebul, the prince of demons.” They did not recognize Jesus as Son of God. Rather they saw Him as just an ordinary man empowered by the devil to perform something extraordinary.

What does this mean for us? Let us remember that we cannot live without God in our lives. Let us learn to recognize and be grateful for His unseen presence. The more we do this, the more we experience God’s power in our lives. Let us pray and hope that we don’t make the same mistake of accusing Jesus, like the people of His time, that “He is no God at all, but one who works for the devil.”

Like Thomas, let us learn to say to Him everyday, “My Lord and my God.” (Fr. Gerry Donato, SVD Bible Diary 2009)

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October 7, 2016 Friday

One piece of advice that we usually receive after recovering from illness is that we should take the necessary care and precaution so that the illness may not return with much more seriousness than previously experienced. This advice refers to the occurrence of a relapse (“binat” in Tagalog).  Certainly proven by our experiences, in the occurrence of a relapse, the illness comes back with a vengeance, so to speak.

The same is true in our spiritual life. Like any form of illness, sin and evil do not constitute our human nature. They infect us when we are exposed to them, willingly or unwillingly. Jesus, our healer, came to drive them out through the sacrament of reconciliation, after which we experience the reign/kingdom of God in our lives. However, sin and evil are persistent realities. Defeated though they may be by the cross of Jesus, they will not give up until the day of judgment. Jesus issues this reminder: for as long as the power of God’s reign remains in us, sin and evil have no power over us. Conversely, when we lose such power due to carelessness or complacency, we end up much worse sinners.

The gospel inspires every believer who turned away from sin and evil to fashion a life of perseverance through the vigilance of righteousness. Living the teachings of Jesus Christ daily with greater zeal and devotion is tantamount to strengthening the power of the reign of God in our lives.  To loosen our guard is to invite sin and evil to return and cause havoc in our lives.

Prayer: Lord Jesus Christ, reign over me. Guide and protect me always from all evils today, everyday and always. Amen. (Fr. Fred Saniel, SVD DWST, Tagaytay City Bible Diary 2016)

rveritas-asia.org/daily-reflection/936-october-7-2016-friday

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Jesus says, “Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters.” Jesus’ mission and the whole of our life as disciples of Jesus are part of a continuing story of spiritual combat. It is impossible to stay neutral. Doing so is compromise.

Fr. Benedict Heron, Benedictine monk and respected personality in Christian healing ministry wrote: “Whenever Christians pray authentically for peace and justice in the world, for the conversion of their country, for an end to abortion and drug addiction, for the feeding of the hungry, for the protection of the environment, for the salvation of crumbling marriages, for the healing of the alcoholics, then they are involved in spiritual warfare, whether they think in terms of spiritual warfare or not (I Saw Satan Fall, 1997)

In the spiritual combat, it is not enough that we cleanse ourselves of sin. Nature abhors a vacuum. After cleansing, we must commit ourselves positively to a life of prayer, obedience and righteousness. We must never be complacent and overconfident. Again, Fr. Heron wrote as he outlined the flow of a prayer for spiritual warfare: “Start with a prayer of praise…..Pray for the protection of everyone present…..Ask Jesus to bind any evil spirits in the person being prayed for (e.g. spirit of fear, spirit of anger)…. Then ask Jesus to cast out any evil spirits in the person… Pray for the infilling of the Holy Spirit, for the departure of the evil spirits can leave a vacuum and one does not want them to return….” (Fr. Domie Guzman New Every Morning New Everyday 2006 p.301)\

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FRIDAY OF THE 27TH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME (YEAR A) – LUKAS 11:15-26. Unsa may atong buhaton aron ang katarong magmadaugon? Gipasanginlan si Hesus nga nagpapahawag daotang espiritu pinaagi sa gahum ni Satanas. Apan gihimo niya kining kahigayonan sa pagtudlo sa kabililhon sa panaghiusa: “Kon diha sa gingharian ni Satanas may mga pundok nga nag-unay’g away, unsaon man paglungtad niini?” Ug miingon pa siya: “Ang dili dapig kanako, batok gayod kanako; ang dili motabang kanako pagtigom, nagpatibulaag.” Nga sa ato pa, ang kampo sa mga daotan ug ang pundok sa mga matarong pareho nga nanginahanglan og kahiusahan aron molungtad. Ang hagit kanato karon mao kini: Kitang mga anak sa Dios angay’ng maghiusa sa pagbuhat og maayo ug pagpakigbatok sa mga daotan. Kon dili nato kini mahimo, magmadaugon ang mga sakop sa demonyo. Posted by Abet Uy

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Thursday, October 8, 2015

FRIDAY OF THE 27TH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME (YEAR B) – LUKAS 11:15-26. UNSA MAY ATONG BUHATON ARON MAGMADAUGON ANG KATARONG? Gipasanginlan si Hesus nga nagpapahawag daotang espiritu pinaagi sa gahum ni Satanas. Apan, gihimo niya kining kahigayonan sa pagtudlo sa kabililhon sa panaghiusa: “Kon diha sa gingharian ni Satanas may mga pundok nga nag-unay’g away, unsaon man paglungtad niini?” Ug miingon pa siya: “Ang dili dapig kanako, batok gayod kanako; ang dili motabang kanako pagtigom, nagpatibulaag.” Nga sa ato pa, ang kampo sa mga daotan ug ang pundok sa mga matarong pareho nga nanginahangla’g kahiusahan aron molungtad. Ang hagit kanato karon mao kini: Isip mga anak sa Dios, angay kitang maghiusa sa pagbuhat og maayo ug sa pagpakigbatok sa mga demonyo. Matod pa, “Where there is unity there is always victory.” Posted by Abet Uy

abetuy.blogspot.com/2015/10/friday-of-27th-week-in-ordinary-time.html

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Reflection for Friday October 10, Twenty-seventh Week in Ordinary Time; Luke 11:15-26 Reflection: There was an advertisement on TV that has a catchy line that goes like this: Our products are everywhere. Could we also say this to the devil, that he and his minions are everywhere today? Yes, the sad reality is the devil and his minions are prevalent today more than ever. They are everywhere literally disguised in so many attractive ways that we could not identify who they are and where they reside.

We may not know this but some of these evils reside within us, this is the reason why from time to time evil thoughts suddenly pops in our minds. Should we worry about this? Of course, for the reason that this shows our lack of faith and interactions with Jesus.

Evil thrives within us when Jesus is absent within us, when we shabbily treat Him and when our faith in Jesus is weak. Therefore when we have weak faith we also give the devil an opportunity to cast his evil magic spell upon us.

Our gospel for this Friday tells us that Jesus is far more powerful than the devil, that Jesus could demolish the devil anytime He wants. But Jesus needs also our cooperation because He also gave us the freewill to decide for ourselves. If we are going to embrace Him and let Him come into our lives or we continue to allow the devil to gain control of our lives. Do you allow the devil to once in a while take control of you?

Be wary of the devil, defeat him with your rock solid faith in Jesus. – Marino J. Dasmarinas

mjdasma.blogspot.com/2014/10/reflection-for-friday-october-10-twenty.html

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Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Reflection for Friday October 7, Our Lady of the Rosary; Luke 11:15-26

Reflection: Does Jesus deserve the accusation that He is a demon? Has he done any demonic actions to earn the accusation? No Jesus doesn’t deserve the accusation  and He surely has not done any actions contrary to His mission. None at all!

The crowd’s accusation originates from the deceit and envy in their hearts. And who planted that deceit and envy? It’s Beelzebul the prince of demons himself! So it was actually the accusers who were in fact possessed by the demon.

We must be careful not to allow deceitful/envious and other negative emotions to takes root in our hearts for these are temptations that originate from the devil. We should instead fill our hearts and minds with thoughts that are Godly.  Of course we must choose to be with Jesus for this is always the correct choice.  If we are not for Jesus, then we are against Jesus there’s no middle ground.

Why should we choose to be in the company of the devil when it will not do any good to our lives? The devil will bring us nothing but problems and perdition.  Although he often times disguises his diabolical intentions and himself through the many attractive things of this world.

We should therefore be discerning because the devil may already be enticing  us without us knowing it. How would we able to discern if the devil is already laying his enticement upon us? We have to be close to Jesus and should not walk away from Jesus, for this is the only way that we could discern the presence of the devil.  The same devil who always seeks to destroy us by trying his very best to snatch us away from the love of Jesus.

Let us therefore always align ourselves with Jesus and let us never compromise with anything that is wrong and evil. – Marino J. Dasmarinas

mjdasma.blogspot.com/2016/10/reflection-for-friday-october-7-our.html

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UNCHANGING – “And when it comes, it finds it swept and put in order. Then it goes and takes along seven other spirits more evil than itself, and they go in and live there…” – Luke 11:25-26

After a person goes through a deliverance or exorcism session, he is strongly advised to keep away from the occult practices that allowed the evil one to possess him. He is encouraged to live a life of faith through prayer and devotion to Jesus and the Blessed Virgin Mary to strengthen him. If he is not filled with the Holy Spirit, then he will be filled with other spirits not of God.

St. Thomas More said, “Occupy your mind with good thoughts or the enemy will fill them with bad ones. Unoccupied, they cannot be.”

As long as we live in this world, we will always be caught in the middle of a battle between good and evil. When our thinking aligns with the modern ideas of society like being pro-choice and living-in, then we have succumbed to the devil’s deception of wanting to break free from God by invoking our right to our own body and the right to our own happiness. God’s standard of holiness never changes, no matter how progressive our society may be. New laws may be passed to conform to the changing needs of society but God’s law shall remain the same forever. Ronna Ledesma (ronna_ledesma@yahoo.com.ph)

Reflection: “When the devil is called the god of this world, it is not because he made it but because we serve him with our worldliness.” (St. Thomas Aquinas)

Abba, help me to remember always Your immutable laws. Give me the courage to stand up for it even if it means being ridiculed.

kerygmafamily.com/modules/dailyreadings/read.php?date=2014-10-10

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ABOUT THE DEVIL AND NASTY TALKS – In my entire life, I experienced exorcism only once. It was a scary experience, even though it was only a mild case of possession. But when I sprinkled holy water on the person and she screamed as if she had been burned, I got really scared. The prayers of those around me and the intense prayers in front of the opened Tabernacle made the evil spirit flee.

Jesus was a powerful exorcist. That some people attributed His power to the devil was really malicious — and illogical, as Jesus points out: “How could one drive out the devil with the help of the devil?”

This Gospel passage gives us at least two points to reflect on.

One is that the devil exists, something even some Catholics deny. Evil is all around us. Of course, the devil does not appear as an ugly figure with horns, as artists have portrayed him. The evil one approaches us in the guise of nice, attractive persons, in attractive advertisements and entertainments. That’s why we have to be very careful. Before, a prayer to St. Michael was recited after every Mass to protect us against the devil. It would be good to ask privately every day this powerful archangel for his protection every day.

A second point for reflection is the nasty claim that Jesus drove out demons by the power of the prince of demons.

It is common to make false claims to put a person down. When Pope Francis was elected in 2013, the world rejoiced and he was praised not only by Christians but even by non-Christians. After nine months, he became Time Magazine’s “Person of the Year.” But those who did not like his simple, humble pastoral approach also began to spread malicious news about him. One claimed the Pope is a Marxist, another that he is a Mason.

We are also often tempted to tell negative things about others, things that sometimes are not even true. Wouldn’t it be good to make a strong resolution not to listen to negative talks and not talk negative things about others? Fr. Rudy Horst, SVD

REFLECTION QUESTION: Do you engage in gossip and enjoy listening to negative talks about others?

Lord, You experienced how Your good deeds were misinterpreted. I know from experience how painful this is. Help me to let the truth prevail always.

kerygmafamily.com/modules/dailyreadings/read.php?date=2015-10-09

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Two leaders fight for our Vote: All our lives have to choose between two leaders: Jesus and Satan. One asks for hard things; one asks for easy things.

Jesus says: “You must learn to control your desires.”

Satan says: “Let yourself go. Do what you please.”

Jesus says: “God sometimes sends crosses into your life. You must learn to carry them, just I did.”

Satan says: “You should be angry with God for crosses and pain. You deserve to be treated better than that.”

Jesus says: “You must think of other people first.”

Satan says: “If you do not think of yourself, no one else will.”

Jesus says: “Heaven is more important than earth.”

Satan says: “Heaven is a dream and imagination which you cannot see. Be practical: Take and use and enjoy what you see right now.”

Jesus says: “Think first of your soul and then of your body. The soul is more important.”

Satan says: “The body is all you have. Forget about the soul which you cannot see.”

Jesus says: “Do not be foolish and use all your energy getting more and more power and money and fame.”

Satan says: “Nonsense! Money, power and fame are the only things which make this life worth living.”

So there we are: Jesus promises us heaven after death. While Satan promises us heaven on earth.

At the great judgment on the last day, Jesus, and not Satan, is going to do the judging. We better be on the right side! (Frank Mihalic SVD, A Thought for Today, Manila: Logos Publications, Inc., 2001:54-55)

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Keeping House

October 9, 2015 (readings)

Friday of the Twenty-seventh Week in Ordinary Time

Father Patrick Butler, LC

Luke 11:15-26

Introductory Prayer: Lord, you are omnipotent, all-powerful. For that reason alone, I ought to ally myself to you. I believe that you can do all things. I am confident that you will act in my life. I love you because even though you are the all-powerful God, you are humble, having made yourself one like me, so that I can approach you without being intimidated, with trust.

Petition: Lord Jesus, your kingdom come in my soul!

  1. THE Sign from Heaven:When Jesus casts out a demon from a soul, some of the bystanders then ask him to perform a sign from heaven. Jesus is the sign from heaven, the living presence of God with us. His casting out a demon already testifies that he can do what no one else can do. It proves that he is God. However, I want to fix my eyes on him as the object of my love, not on the spectacular things that he does. It is important to look at the Giver, not the gift he gives.
  2. The Kingdom of God:There is combat going on, and the human soul is the battleground. In this case the man is freed of demonic possession, and one kingdom has been dispossessed of its conquest. Another Kingdom is on the move! Light is replacing darkness. Springtime melts away the winter. This brings joy and warmth to my soul.
  3. The Gentle Guest:When the soul has been freed from the effects of evil, it can be likened to a tidy house. Jesus chose to clean the house, the interior dwelling place, of the possessed man. He will not, by his choice alone, take up the vacant place in that soul. He very much desires to be there, but he knocks and wants to be invited in freely by the homeowner. Once at home in my heart, Jesus is the strong man whom no one can overcome.

Conversation with Christ: Lord Jesus Christ, I am not content just with being liberated from sin, although that is already a great gift. I know that you are knocking at the door of my heart. I ask you to come in and make my soul your dwelling place. I have been made to be a dwelling place of the Blessed Trinity, and I desire that fullness of life.

Resolution: I will be attentive to the fact that I am a dwelling of God and look to do what is worthy of that dignity. Specifically, I will be attentive to the thoughts that pass through my mind and the words that cross my lips today.

epriest.com/reflections/view/537

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October 07, 2016

REFLECTION: Prayer beads are used by members of various religious traditions such as Hinduism, Buddhism, Christianity, Islam, etc. to count the repetitions of certain prayers. The earliest prayer beads are found on Hindu statues dating from the 3rd century B.C.

Today’s celebration of Our Lady of the Rosary marks the anniversary of the decisive victory of the combined Christian forces in 1571 at the battle of Lepanto, defeating a Muslim fleet off the coast of Western Greece. Formerly it was sometimes called the feast of Our Lady of Victory.

In a way of speaking, to pray the Rosary is to perform an act of humi­lity. Why? Because there is nothing particularly grand about repeating the same prayer 50 times, somewhat like a parrot endlessly muttering the same words. There is not much room for the mind to indulge in sublime considerations, as can happen during a meditation. The Rosary is the prayer of those who are tired, who have difficulty meditating, who cannot concentrate much for a variety of reasons. But, if prayed with a loving heart and a little effort to imagine the 15 Mysteries of the gospel highlighted in that prayer, it can become a path to holiness.

schoolofthewordonline.com/scriptural-library/daily-gospel/english/item/3666-october-07-2016

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See Today’s Readings:  Year I,   Year II

Back to: Friday of the 27th Week of the Year

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