Sunday, March 25, 2007


“My eyes are ever turned toward the Lord. It is He who will pluck me from the snare (of the devil). Look upon me Lord and have mercy.” Again the Introit sets the tone of today’s liturgy. We are in mortal and constant combat with the devil. He never rests; he always is, ”Seeking whom he may devour.” During Lent, his ferocity is even greater. He seeks to counter our penance and fasting with greater temptations.

In the Collect we pray: “We beseech Thee, O Almighty God, look upon the desires of the humble and stretch forth the right hand of your Majesty and come to our defense.”

Saint Paul, in his Epistle to the Ephesians, exhorts us to: “Walk as children of Light!” Take the offensive. Do not sit by idly waiting for the next temptation. Do not let the devil have his way. Practice the virtues that Our Lord taught us. He delivered Himself up for us and will not let us be ravished by the evil one.

Saint Paul was never one to mince words. “Fornication and all impurities or covetousness should not even be mentioned among you as is becoming of the saints.” Don’t even talk about these things. These vices are not worthy of our Christian calling.

Then Paul throws down the gauntlet: “For know you this and understand it well, that no fornicator or unclean or covetous person, which is the serving of idols, has any inheritance of the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no man deceive you with vain and empty words. Because of these things, the wrath of God is coming upon the children of unbelief.” The Apostle leaves little room, if any, for the pendants and the analysts. We are responsible for our actions! “Walk then as children of the light; for the fruit of the light is in all goodness and truth.”

The Gospel portrays Our Lord’s open conflict with Satan. He disarms him and wins complete victory over him. Jesus then gives us the final challenge: “He who is not with me is against me and he who does not gather with me, scatters.”

My friends, there is no room in between. We are either with Christ by turning away from sin and putting on the virtues or we are not. Let us walk with Christ and not with the Satan. Let us truly walk as children of the light and not as sons of darkness. Have mercy on us Lord, have mercy!

Father Richard J. Rego


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