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OPUS DEI LVI

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Now it happened that on the following day when they were coming down from the mountain, the disciples put this question to him, “Why do the scribes say that Elijah must come first?” He said to them, “Elijah is indeed first coming to set everything right again, and he will set everything right again. However, I tell you that Elijah has come already and they did not recognize him but treated him as they pleased, just as the scripture says about him. Yet how is it that the scriptures say about the Son of man that he must suffer similarly at their hands and be treated with contempt?” Then the disciples understood that he was speaking of John the Baptist. As they were rejoining the disciples, they saw a large crowd around them and some scribes arguing with them. At once, they saw him. The whole crowd was so struck with amazement that they ran to greet him. He asked them, “What are you arguing about with them?” A man from the crowd, came up to him, went down on his knees before him, and answered him. “Lord,” he said, “Master, I implore you to look at and take pity on my only son: I have brought him to you. He is demented and in a wretched state. There is a spirit of dumbness in him, and when it takes hold of him, it gives a sudden cry and throws him into convulsions on the ground. He foams at the mouth, grinds his teeth, and goes rigid; it is slow to leave him, but when it does, it leaves the boy worn out. I took him to your disciples to drive it out and they were unable to cure him.” In reply, Jesus said, “Faithless and perverse generation! How much longer must I be with you? How much longer must I put up with you? Bring your son here to me.” They brought the boy to him, and at once the spirit of dumbness threw the boy into convulsions, and he fell to the ground and lay writhing there, foaming at the mouth. Jesus asked the father, “How long has this been happening to him?” “From childhood,” he said, “and it has often thrown him into fire and into water, in order to destroy him. But if you can do anything, have pity on us and help us.” “If you can?” retorted Jesus. “Everything is possible for someone who has faith.” At once, the father of the boy cried out, “I have faith. Help my lack of faith!” When Jesus saw that a crowd was gathering, he rebuked the unclean spirit. “Deaf and dumb spirit,” he said, “I command you: come out of him and never enter him again.” When Jesus rebuked it, it threw the boy into violent convulsions and the devil came out of the boy, who was cured at that moment, shouting, and the boy lay there so like a corpse that most of them said, “He is dead.” Jesus then took him by the hand and helped him up, and being able to stand, he gave him back to his father.

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