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Preaching and dealing with devils

We somehow have to get involved in these things if we are to truly follow Christ. In the gospel, that is what Christ was doing. (cfr. Mk 1,29-39) “He went into their synagogues, preaching and driving out demons throughout the whole of Galilee,” the gospel narrates.

Yes, we have to help spread far and wide the saving and living word of God. That is really important and indispensable if we are to keep our Christianity alive. We have to realize more deeply that preaching the Word of God is a task entrusted to his apostles and shared by all of us in different ways.

First we need to examine our understanding and attitude toward God’s word, especially the Gospel. On this basic understanding would depend what we do with the Gospel and how we handle it.

Do we really know the true nature of the Gospel? Or do we take it as just one more book, perhaps with certain importance, but definitely not as the living word of God, in spite of its human dimensions?

The Gospel is actually the living proclamation of Christ as the Emmanuel, that is, God with us. This is an on-going affair that did not stop with the death of Christ. Christ lives with us up to now, and continues to do things with us.

All these affirmations are captured in the last lines of the Gospel of St. Matthew where our Lord said:

“Go, therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them…. And behold I am with you all days, even to the consummation of the world.” (28,19-20)

Our Catechism tells us that “We must continue to accomplish in ourselves the stages of Jesus’ life and his mysteries and often to beg him to perfect and realize them in us and in his whole Church” (521)

We also have to learn how to deal with the devils. They are always around, ever scheming and plotting against us in many, many ways, and often in a manner that is so subtle that we may not even notice him. As St. Peter would put in his first letter: “Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion seeking someone to devour.” (5,8)

We should never consider the devil as a myth, or as some kind of literary device only to highlight a point in the drama of our life. He is as real as you and me. Our problem is that we think lightly or, worse, falsely of him. And so we become completely unprepared to deal with his antics.

But in spite of that unfortunate fact of life, we should remember that the devil cannot do anything against us unless allowed by God. And if allowed, it is because God in his mysterious providence can always draw a greater good from any evil the devil may cause in us.

When tempted by the devil we should avoid getting sad, because sadness makes the devil happy. We are meant to be happy, not only from time to time, but all time. Impossible? Of course, it will be impossible if we rely mainly if not solely on our own powers. But that’s not supposed to be. We are meant to be with God and to rely mainly on his powers. That way, we can always manage to be at peace and happy, which is what is ideal for all of us.*

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