(Week 27 of the year: Friday)
IF IT IS THROUGH THE FINGER OF GOD THAT I CAST OUT DEVILS, THEN KNOW THAT THE KINGDOM OF GOD HAS OVERTAKEN YOU.
Some of the people said, “It is through Beelzebul, the prince of devils, that he casts out devils.” Others asked Jesus, as a test, for a sign from heaven; but knowing what they were thinking, he said to them, “Every kingdom divided against itself is heading for ruin, and a household divided against itself collapses. So too with Satan: if he is divided against himself, how can his kingdom stand? – since you assert that it is through Beelzebul that I cast out devils, through whom do your own experts cast them out? Let them be your judges, then. But if it is through the finger of God that I cast out devils, then know that the kingdom of God has overtaken you. So long as a strong man fully armed guards his own palace, his goods are undisturbed; but when someone stronger than he is attacks and defeats him, the stronger man takes away all the weapons he relied on and shares out his spoil.
“He who is not with me is against me; and he who does not gather with me scatters.
“When an unclean spirit goes out of a man it wanders through waterless country looking for a place to rest, and not finding one it says, ‘I will go back to the home I came from.’ But on arrival, finding it swept and tidied, it then goes off and brings seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and set up house there, so that the man ends up being worse than he was before.”
V. The Gospel of the Lord.
R. Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.