Mass Reading & Meditation for March 7, 2013
Meditation: Luke 11:14-23
Saints Perpetua and Felicity, Martyrs
The kingdom of God has come upon you. (Luke 11:20)
Picture the crowd as they watched Jesus cast a demon out of a mute person. You would think that would be enough to convince them of his divine power. But immediately, some asked for a sign from heaven—as if what he did wasn’t already a sign! Others declared that he was using the devil’s power to cast out the demon.
So who do you think was at work here besides Jesus?
If you answered the devil, you’re right. He loves to stir up animosity and mistrust. He doesn’t want anyone to believe in God’s power, so he plays on our suspicions. He may go by a variety of names—Lucifer, the evil one, the father of lies, the accuser of the brethren—but they all point to the division that he constantly tries to create among God’s people. Unlike Jesus, who always seeks to bring people together, Satan’s goal is to cause division and destroy relationships.
How can we stand up to such a crafty adversary? On our own power, we can’t. We need to believe that Jesus has defeated Satan and that he has given us a share in his victory. This is what St. Paul meant when he told us to take up the spiritual weapons God has given us. We have nothing less than the whole “armor of God” at our disposal, and we have the Holy Spirit, who is more than eager to teach us how to use it (Ephesians 6:13).
Here are some of the weapons you can avail yourself of. First and foremost, there is prayer. Look to the power of Jesus’ death and resurrection, and invoke this power over yourself, your family, even your nation. You can also ask for the intercession of the saints and angels. And of course, you can seek Jesus’ strength in the Eucharist and his comfort in the confessional.
With all of this spiritual weaponry and with God’s own grace, you can win this battle. With the Holy Spirit’s help, you can restore broken relationships and become an instrument of peace. You really can send the devil back to where he belongs!
“Jesus, help me to put on my spiritual armor so that I can stand against the devil and all his tactics. Lord, send your angels to protect all of us against the work of the enemy!”
Jeremiah 7:23-28; Psalm 95:1-2, 6-9