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The good news for the day January 23, 2017

Monday of the Third Week in Ordinary Time (317)

Some educated people—from Jerusalem—decided and said of Jesus, “Beel-zebul has him,” and “By the head of all wicked forces—that is how He drives out these demonic powers….”  Gathering some people, he addressed them poetically: “How can an accusatorial Satan—Satan means “prosecutor”—drive out another accusatorial Satan? If any kingdom gets split against itself, that kingdom cannot stay together. If a household gets split against itself, that family and house cannot remain together. And if a Powerful Prosecutor has risen up against himself and is split and indecisive, he cannot remain in one piece—that is the end of him. Nobody one can get into a strong man’s house to plunder his property unless he first does something to “tie up” the strong man. Once done with that, he can burglar his house all he wants. Here is the truth I am telling you: all deviancies and all defiance of God that people utter will be forgiven them. anybody defying the individual attitude God gives them will never have forgiveness, but is guilty of an endless sin.” (Mark 3)

“A house divided against itself cannot stand,”—so quoted Lincoln before the Civil War. This whole passage is about the struggle you are engaged in—the effort of other people—religious, secular, friends & family—to control you (demons, in a way—if they win and you are controlled), as well as your effort to maintain your own integrity—your wholesomeness.

With age, reflection brings you to realize that you are controlled in many ways. Good ways and bad ways. Road regulations protect your life; long-dead parents still shape many of your habits; you conform—sometimes detrimentally—to the rules of your religion, your club, your social class.

“Blasphemy against the Holy Spirit” refers to your openness to love and truth—your response—or not—to how God has made you—created you as different! Accepting your uniqueness is love of God—denying it denies your Creator’s love for you—and affects everything you do—forever. It is that spirit—that outlook, that attitude—which only you can accept or deny.

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