Daily Bible Reading - March 7, 2024

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Claretian Communications Foundation, Inc.

3RD WEEK OF LENT

Psalter: Week 3 / (Violet)

Sts. Perpetua & Felicity, martyrs

Responsorial Psalm: Ps 95: 1-2, 6-7, 8-9: If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts.

1st Reading: Jeremiah 7: 23-28

One thing I did command them: Listen to my voice and I will be your God and you will be my people. Walk in the way I command you and all will be well with you.

But they did not listen and paid no attention. They followed the bad habits of their stubborn heart and turned away from me.

From the time I brought their ancestors out of Egypt until this day I have continually sent them my servants, the prophets; but this stiff-necked people did not listen. They paid no attention and were worse than their ancestors.

You may say all these things to them but they will not listen. You will call them but they will not answer. This is a nation that did not obey Yahweh and refused to be disciplined. Truth has perished and is no longer heard from their lips.

Gospel: Luke 11: 14-23

One day, Jesus was driving out a demon, which was mute. When the demon had been driven out, the mute person could speak, and the people were amazed.

Yet some of them said, “He drives out demons by the power of Beelzebul, the chief of the demons.”

Others wanted to put him to the test, by asking him for a heavenly sign. But Jesus knew their thoughts, and said to them, “Every nation divided by civil war is on the road to ruin, and will fall. If Satan also is divided, his empire is coming to an end.

How can you say that I drive out demons by calling upon Beelzebul? If I drive them out by Beelzebul, by whom do your sons drive out demons? They will be your judges, then.

But if I drive out demons by the finger of God; would not this mean that the kingdom of God has come upon you? As long as a man, strong and well armed, guards his house, his goods are safe.

But when a stronger man attacks and overcomes him, the challenger takes away all the weapons he relied on, and disposes of his spoils. Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me, scatters.

REFLECTION:

“True unity.”

The salvation which Jesus offers unites people together. It needs to be qualified, however, that this kind of unity is a unity of people of goodwill. Ill-willed people may apparently unite themselves for a time just to put forward each of their selfish agenda.

Such is not a true unity. Such is merely an alliance for self-securing interests. This alliance does not last. True unity lasts because it is built on goodwill.

In today’s Gospel, Jesus was accused of being governed by the power of Beelzebul, the chief of demons.

Out of goodwill, he did something good by driving out the demon that made a person mute and yet some ill-willed people were accusing him falsely that he did it through the power of Beelzebul.

In the end, it is our intention and motivation whenever we work together which will separate unity from mere alliance.

On the one hand, if our motivation cares for the well-being of everyone, then we are fostering true unity.

On the other hand, if the things we do together is fueled by each of our own selfish intentions, then it is not the kind of unity which Jesus offers. It does not save. It destroys.

CLARETIAN COMMUNICATIONS FOUNDATION, INC.

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