Daily Bible Reading
Monday of the Third week in Ordinary Time
Week of prayer for Christian unity
Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Mark 3:22-30.
The scribes who had come from Jerusalem said of Jesus, "He is possessed by Beelzebul," and "By the prince of demons he drives out demons."
Summoning them, he began to speak to them in parables, "How can Satan drive out Satan?
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.
And if Satan has risen up against himself and is divided, he cannot stand; that is the end of him.
But no one can enter a strong man's house to plunder his property unless he first ties up the strong man. Then he can plunder his house.
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."
For they had said, "He has an unclean spirit."
Copyright © Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, USCCB
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The Prince of this world has been cast out
Saint Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274), Dominican theologian, Doctor of the Church
Christ’s miracles were ordained to manifest his divinity. However, this had to remain hidden from the demons, otherwise the mystery of the passion would have been hindered by them: “If they had known the Lord of glory, they would not have crucified him,” (1Cor 2:8). It would seem, then, that Christ should not work miracles over the demons… Yet the prophet Zechariah predicted these wonders when he cried out: “I will take away the spirit of uncleanness,” (Zec 13:2). Indeed, Christ’s miracles were proofs demonstrating the faith he taught. Now, through the power of his divinity, was it not fitting for him to do away with the demons’ power in those who would believe in him, according to Saint John’s words: “Now the ruler of this world is driven out”? (Jn 12:31).
Thus it was fitting that, among his other miracles, Christ should deliver from demons those men who were possessed by them… Besides, Saint Augustine writes: “Christ made himself known to the demons for as long as he wished to do so, and he wished to do so for as long as it was necessary… through certain material consequences of his power.” At the sight of his miracles the devil came to believe through conjecture that Christ was the Son of God: “the demons… knew he was the Christ” says Saint Luke (Lk 4:41). If they confessed he was Son of God, “it was by way of conjecture rather than by way of knowledge,” Saint Bede comments. As for the miracles Christ accomplished when he cast out demons, he did not do these for their own usefulness but for that of men, so that they might give glory to God. That is why he prevented the demons from speaking about anything affecting his praise. Saint John Chrysostom observes: “It was not fitting that the demons should take to themselves the glory proper to the function of the apostles, nor that lying tongues should preach the mystery of Christ.”