Friday, April 1, 2011

Daily Lenten inspiration, March 31, 2011 (Thursday of the Third Week of Lent)

Transcript of homily recorded on Thursday, May 30, 2011

By Father Tim McGowan

Of all the crazy and absurd things that Jesus' adversaries accused him of, today's Gospel has to be one of the best. It's perhaps the most absurd charge ever leveled against Jesus.

He had just performed a miracle. He had cast out a mute spirit from a man who had been unable to speak. Now the man spoke plainly. Some people were amazed, but others, for some strange reason, were offended and said, "he is casting out devils by the power of the devil." In other words, they were accusing Jesus of doing a good thing by evil means. He had healed a mute man; they couldn't deny that. That was a good thing; this they could not dispute. But they concluded he had done so through demonic power. His accusers did not know it, but they were actually accusing Jesus of an impossibility.

When devilish circumstances are met with devilish force, nothing is resolved. All it does is set up a vicious cycle of devilish deeds. When two wrongs come together, they never equal a right. Two wrongs never give birth to good. When hatred is met with hatred, it sows the seeds of continued hatred. On the other hand, this cycle will go on until somebody decides to put an end to it. The thing that the critics of Jesus forgot, and that sometimes we can forget, is that we can never reach the right destination by choosing the wrong road. The road that we travel must be on par with the goals that we seek or else we will never get there from here.

So if our aim in life is to accomplish good — to cast out evil — if our aim in life is to leave the world a little bit better place because you and I were here better than we found it, we're going to have to live as Jesus lived. We must learn to turn the other cheek. We must answer harsh words with soft words.

Evil cannot conquer evil. Only good can conquer evil. Never in all of the history of the world have two wrongs ever produced a right.

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