THE ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH
Her Doctrine and Morals
Third Sunday in Lent
19 March 2017
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Jesus was casting out a devil when He was accused of doing this by the power of another devil. Some even demanded that Jesus give them a sign that His works were from God. Apparently many were reflecting upon the great miracles that God worked through Moses when they left Egypt. They were looking for material miracles that would sustain our physical bodies (Manna from Heaven, or water from a rock.) These poor souls did not realize that they were being offered the Word of God to feed their souls and give them eternal life. In rejecting Jesus, they have committed a sin that is not forgiven (the dreaded sin against the Holy Ghost).
Without Jesus Christ, there is no forgiveness of sins. Rejecting Him is the same as rejecting the cleansing of our souls and without the cleansing of our souls, the life of God, the Holy Ghost cannot enter into our souls. This is the sin that cannot be forgiven because those who are guilty of it will not seek forgiveness.
Jesus tried to soften their hearts, nonetheless. He pointed out to them, on a plain and simple natural level, the absurdity of accusing Him of casting out devils by the power of Beelzebub. Their hearts were obviously hardened, but Jesus did promise them a sign the sign of Jonas. He would rise alive from the grave after three days. As amazing as this is that the men of His day would refuse to hear or see the Truth it is even more amazing today. There are still people who cling to the dead faith of the Jews. They still reject Jesus Christ and thus remain in their sins and are forever barred from Heaven (unless they repent and allow the Holy Ghost to come to them). We need not stop with the Jews, but everyone outside of the True Catholic Church has fallen tragically into this snare. The Islamist, Atheists, Freemasons, Protestants, are all in the same camp with the Jews in rejecting Jesus Christ. In rejecting the True Church, they have rejected the Mystical Body of Jesus Christ and in rejecting Him they have rejected the source of the forgiveness of sins, and thus have no room in their souls for the Holy Ghost or His Gifts.
Not all who were listening to Jesus were thinking in this way. Today's Gospel relates to us that a woman cried out: "blessed is the womb that bore Thee, and the breasts that nursed Thee." This woman in praising the mother of Jesus bears testimony that Mary is blessed in a way that no other mother was or ever will be. She bore the Son of God within her and nursed Him at her breasts. This woman is simultaneously declaring that Jesus is above all other men and therefore is God, and also that Mary is the mother of God.
Jesus tells her and us, that Mary is not so much blessed because she bore Him and nursed Him, but rather because she has heard the Word of God and kept It. Mary treasured every word spoken by Jesus, and in this manner kept Him alive within her very soul. She thus bore Him not only in her body but more importantly in her soul. This is not something that is only available to her, but Jesus offers it to everyone of us. We can all be blessed as Mary is if we will keep Him alive in our hearts and souls. We must hear the Word of God Jesus and keep Him with us.
As we are progressing through this Lenten season we have, most likely: experienced the pains of suffering that come with our sacrifices; we have experienced the temptations that the world, the devils, and our fallen natures hurl upon us; as well as the weight of our daily crosses in following Him. All this emptying of ourselves is what makes room for Jesus to come and dwell within us. It is in this manner that we hear the Word of God and keep It and are declared blessed by Him. We need not look for great miracles as so many did in His day and continue to do today. The time for physical miracles has passed and we are now in a time of spiritual ones. These require a stronger and deeper faith on our part, but are compensated with a much greater grace and reward.
We labor to bring, through a spiritual birth, the life of Christ into our own lives. It is a great sacrifice, but it is more than amply compensated by the true happiness that comes from these efforts. Let us not moan or complain under this burden, but rather rejoice because we have been found worthy to suffer these things for Him as well as, with Him, and in Him.
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