The Third Sunday In Lent The Gospel Luc. 11. v.14 Friday Meditation
GOSPEL St. Luke, 11. 14-28
AT THAT TIME Jesus was casting out a devil, and the same was dumb. And when He had cast out the devil, the dumb spoke, and the multitudes were in admiration at it. But some of them said: He casteth out devils by Beelzebub, the prince of devils. And others, tempting, asked of Him a sign from heaven. But He, seeing their thoughts, said to them: Every kingdom divided against itself shall be brought to desolation, and house upon house shall fall. And if Satan also be divided against himself, how shall his kingdom stand? because you say that through Beelzebub I cast out devils. Now if I cast out devils by Beelzebub, by whom do your children cast them out? Therefore, they shall be your judges. But if I by the finger of God cast out devils, doubtless the kingdom of God is come upon you. When a strong man armed keepeth his court, those things are in peace which he possesseth. But if a stronger one than he is come upon him and overcome him, he will take away all his armor wherein he trusted, and will distribute his spoils. He that is not with Me is against Me: and he that gathereth not with Me scattereth. When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through places without water, seeking rest: and not finding, he saith: I will return into my house whence I came out. And when he is come, he findeth it swept and garnished. Then he goeth and taketh with him seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and entering in they dwell there. And the last state of that man becomes worse than the first. And it came to pass, as He spoke these things, a certain woman from the crowd, lifting up her voice, said to Him: Blessed is the womb that bore Thee, and the paps that gave Thee suck. But he said: Yea rather, blessed are they who hear the word of God, and keep it.
AS some take occasion to say of Christ for casting out this dumb devil, he caste out devils in Beelzebub the Prince of devils: So a certain woman took occasion thereby to bless Christ with a loud voice, and in great admiration of him, saying: blessed be the womb; that bare thee, and the breasts that gave thee suck.
Men commonly judge, as they themselves are.
If they be good, they judge the best: if naught, the worse.
A charitable man, as Saint Paul says, think not ill, to wit, till there be a just and manifest cause, and then likewise he thinks the best.
As a man that looketh with green spectacles, all things seem green unto him: So other mens actions are to us as our affections are, which are as it were the spectacles of our mind.
Other cattle, saving swine, when they come into a green meadow, they feed only of the green grass, and other things that grow upon the ground but swine, when they come, they turn up the ground, and eat up the roots of the grass and spoil all.
So, some like swine (as these that calumniated Christ for casting out the devil) if the actions of others be never to good, they will not approve them, and feed themselves with the good example thereof: but dive into their secret intentions, which is the root of their actions, and consider them always to the worst, and so deprave their actions, be they never so good.
Some on the other side look no further then the outward actions of others and if they seem to be good, they judge them so, they edify themselves with the good example thereof, they enter not into mens secret intentions, nay if their actions have a show of evil; yet will they find out some good intention or circumstance to achieve them.
These are men of charity; they judge as they are themselves, they look with spectacles that make things seem as they are in deed: What action could be more wicked then to crucify Christ, yet Christ-excused them to his father, saying: father forgive them, for they know not what they do, what could be worse then that the brethren of Joseph should cast him into a pit, to starve him to death, or to kill him out right, as they once determined, or to sell him, as they did, into Egypt the most idolatrous country of the world he being bred in the service of God, yet when his brethren were driven unto him by famine, and he might have been revenged of them at his pleasure; he excused them, and said do not fear, neither let it seem grievous unto you, that you fold me into this country, for God me hither before you to doe you service.
And here in the gospel, what could be more spiteful and wicked then when Christ had cast out this dumb devil, to calumniate him for it, saying he did it in the power of the devil, and how meekly did Christ convince them, by plain arguments, that he did it, in the power of God, or rather as God himself, he being so in deed: verily these calumniators were possessed with a worse devil then this dumb man, for it had been far better for the to have been dumb, then so to have abused their tongues.
And so is it of all that follow their example, in censuring other men's actions and designs to the worst.
Finally, by this good woman's blessing and magnifying Christ, when he was calumniated and blasphemed of the people, and by her speaking so loud, being no doubt inſpired by the holy ghost so to do: we may learn with what zeal we ought to defend the honor of God, and good name of our neighbor, when they are wronged or impugned
A Plaine Path-way To Heaven Thomas Hill 1634