AT THIS TIME Jesus cured a possessed man whom an evil spirit had rendered blind and dumb.  After He had cast out the devil the man was able to see and speak.  And the crowds marveled at the miracle, saying, “Can this be the Son of David?”  But when the Pharisees heard this, they sought to destroy the people’s faith in Christ, claiming that He cured through black magic.  “This man,” they said, “does not cast out devils except by Beelzebub, the prince of devils.”  Knowing their thoughts, Jesus called them together and said:

“Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation, and every city or house divided against itself will not stand.  And if Satan casts out Satan, he is divided against himself; how then shall his kingdom stand?  And if I cast out devils by Beelzebub, by whom do your children cast them out?  Therefore they shall be your judges.  But if I cast out devils by the spirit of God, then the kingdom of God has come upon you.  Or, how can anyone enter the strong man’s house, and plunder his goods, unless he first binds the strong man?  Then he will plunder his house.  He who is not with Me is against Me, and he who does not gather with Me scatters.  Therefore I say to you, that every kind of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven to men; but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven.  And whoever speaks a word against the Son of Man, it shall be forgiven him; but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit, it will not be forgiven him, either in this world or in the world to come.  Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or make the tree bad and its fruit bad; for by the fruit the tree is known.”

“You brood of vipers, how can you speak good things, when you are evil?  For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.  The good man from his good treasure brings forth good things; and the evil man from his evil treasure brings forth evil things.  But I tell you, that of every idle word men speak, they shall give account on the day of judgment.  For by thy words thou wilt be justified, and by thy words thou wilt be condemned.”

Matthew 12:22-37  |  Mark 3:20-30  |  Luke 11:14-23

Meditation:  Christ’s miracle restored sight and speech to a man who had been blind and dumb.  But the Pharisees were only enraged and tried to discredit Christ with the people.  In matters not quite so serious, we often find ourselves acting the part of the Pharisees. Instead of rejoicing at a neighbor’s good fortune, we remark that he hardly deserved it, or that he will probably not use it well, or that it would have been better if someone else had been so fortunate.

Information from The Life of Christ “Our Lord’s Life with Lesson in His Own Words for Our Life Today”  The Catholic Press, Inc. 1959.  145-146.   © 1954 edited by Reverend John P. O’Connell, MASTD and Jex Martin, following mainly A Chronological Harmony of the Gospels by Stephen J Hartdegen OFM NIHIL OBSTAT John A McMahon; IMPRIMATUR Samuel Cardinal Stritch, Archbishop of Chicago August 1, 1953.  Print.  Drawing by Albert H Winkler.

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