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Gospel for the Thursday of the 3rd Week of Lent

Luke 11:14-23

Summary: Jesus rebukes skepticism about his exorcisms, arguing that a kingdom divided cannot stand. He claims his power to cast out demons as evidence of God's kingdom present among them, challenging the logic of his detractors and affirming his mission.

Authority Over Demons

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.”

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