Thursday of the Third Week of LentLectionary: 240

Reading 1 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.”

“They walked in the hardness of their evil hearts and turned their backs, not their faces, to Me.” –Jeremiah 7:24
The prophet Jeremiah has described for us the physiology of sinners. In our sinful rebellion against the Lord, we harden our hearts, turn our backs to God, turn away our faces from God, and stiffen our necks (Jer 7:26). If we don’t repent, the parts of our bodies become even more distorted and perverted. For example, the sinners who martyred Stephen were “stung to the heart,” grinding their teeth, “shouting aloud,” and “holding their hands over their ears” (Acts 7:54, 57).
This Lent and this Easter, look into the mirror of God’s Word (see Jas 1:23). Look at your spiritual appearance. Is your face radiant? Are your feet beautiful? (Is 52:7) Is your forehead imprinted with the seal of the Lamb of God? (Rv 7:3) Do you have praying hands, lips without deceit (see Is 33:15), and a clean heart? (Ps 51:12) Is each part of your body a weapon for justice or for evil? (Rm 6:13) Repent. Be beautiful.
PRAYER: Father, may my body always look like a temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor 6:19).

PROMISE: “If it is by the finger of God that I cast out devils, then the reign of God is upon you.” –Lk 11:20

PRAISE: St. Toribio, a law professor, became a bishop in Spain and a missionary to Native Americans.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s