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“Our Struggle is With the Evil Spirits” (Eph. 6:12)
This Sunday we celebrate the Solemnity of Christ the King. The image that stands out in today’s readings is the Good Shepherd, who mercifully seeks out the lost sheep and heals the sick.
This mercy is opposed by the devil, which is “prowling around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour” (1 Pe 5:8). If fidelity and mercy belong to God, Satan works to harden our hearts. And today it is characteristic of the devil to do so in a particularly wicked way. He is spreading a misconception of mercy in whose name the Church should break with the truth of the Gospel to be “merciful” with those who have separated from the life of the Gospel. And he even tries to take advantage of the secular world’s portrayal of the Pope.
Many are asking today that the Church give communion to those divorced and civilly remarried or bless the practice of same sex relations. Jesus does not condemn the adulterous woman but neither dismisses her saying that it is fine. Instead Jesus invites her to convert. The mercy of the Good Shepherd does not condemn, but rather invites us to discover truth with an open heart, and this revelation will surely lead to fullness of life.
Satan, like the wolf, wants to catch and scatter God’s flock. And he does so in a sheep’s clothing preaching a misled mercy neglecting the truth. In these knotty times we turn to St. Michael the archangel, the one who defeats the snares of the Devil. I join my prayer to yours as today we pray again all together after the Sunday Masses:
St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle.
Be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the Devil.
And may God rebuke him, we humbly pray,
and do thou, O Prince of the heavenly hosts,
by the power of God,
cast into hell Satan, and all the evil spirits,
who prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls.
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