Homily for Tuesday of the 14th Week in Ordinary Time
The Devil is real. He is not some idea or a concept that was invented to explain all of the bad things that happen in the world. Satan is very much present around us; he is active in our world today. And he has all these evil spirits and legions and principalities to help him in his endeavor to steal souls away from the Lord.
All we have to do is turn on the news for literally seconds to see how the Evil One is active and present in our world. Division, deception, discouragement, discontent, doubt, confusion, fear, anxiety…all of these things and more are tactics that the Devil uses to attempt to get us off the path of holiness; these are all tactics that the Devil uses to tempt and oppress those who are seeking to live our lives in accordance with the will of God.
We have to pay attention to what voices are trying to influence us. As Christians, we have to put everything in its proper perspective. That takes discernment. We have to have a relationship with Jesus in order to recognize what things are leading us closer toward Him and what are leading us further away from Him.
Anything that leads us away from God is not from Him – it is most certainly from the Evil One himself. If you realize that relationships in your family, with your friends, between members of the parish are being pulled apart, that is most certainly the spirit of division at work. If you find yourself doubting your abilities or an aspect of your faith that you once were solid on, that is most likely the spirit of doubt and/or deception at work. Whenever we find ourselves confused, anxious, afraid, worried…those are all evil spirits trying to distract us.
The Devil is real! But the good news is that Jesus has already won the battle and shows us that we have authority over these spirits. In our Gospel today, He drives out the demon from the mute man. As baptized believers, we, too, have the authority over demons. We can rebuke evil spirits…simply because we are Christians and, by right of our baptism, have the Holy Spirit dwelling within us. So whenever those spirits begin to nag at us, don’t be afraid to stand in your identity as a beloved son or daughter of God and tell those spirits to go back to Hell where they came from. Stand in your authority and speak out loud: “In the name of Jesus, I rebuke you spirit of XYZ, and Holy Spirit, I invite you into my heart to fill that space with your love.”
The Devil wants to distract us from our goal of striving for Heaven. He will stop at nothing to achieve that. We have to fight. We have to put on the armor of Christ each and every day and continue striving for holiness. That is the only way to defeat the Evil One. So today, let’s strive for Heaven and send the Devil packing!