02/06/2024 Por IAA

Over the next five Sundays we will be following a series of homilies on the theme of “Faith in Action”. Today, Faith as a shield against the malicious!

When faced with Jesus’ miracles, there are 3 possible reactions: either you buy into it wholeheartedlyor you doubt it and ask for other signs so that you can believe better, or you simply refuse to believe and condemn Jesus. This last reaction iswhat happens in this Gospelon the part of the scribes and the Pharisees: they resist believing, and condemn Jesus saying that he is possessed by the devil.

The challenge for us is to believe, to have the faith to be docile to the Holy Spirit in order to be able to fight against Satan.

How do we live it? By making three fundamental acts of faith:

I – Believing that God does not deceive Himself or us

– Affirm that God only wants our good, because he is love and goodness. He doesn’t want to take anything from us, he only wants to give. ‘I have come that they may have life, and life in abundance’ John 10:10

– Overcome the temptation to mistrust: stop thinking that God has ‘something up his sleeve’ and believe that God can and will forgive everything! ‘All things will be forgiven the children of men’ Mark 3:28. The only sin that God cannot forgive is the one for which we don’t want or ask forgiveness.

– Choose the path of happiness that the Lord proposes to us.

II – Acreditar que, pela Cruz, Jesus já venceu Satanás e o mal.

– Pela sua morte, Jesus destruiu o mal, a morte e o pecado. No mundo tereis tribulações; mas tende coragem! Eu  venci o mundo! João 16:30

– O mal já foi vencido – o jogo já está ganho, só ainda não acabou!… “Pois é necessário que Jesus Cristo reine até que tenha colocado todos os inimigos debaixo de seus pés. O último inimigo a ser destruído é a morte.” 1 Coríntios 15:25-26

II – To believe that, through the Cross, Jesus has already defeated Satan and evil.

– By his death, Jesus destroyed evil, death and sin. “In the world you will have tribulation, but take courage! – I have overcome the world!” John 16:30

– Evil has already been defeated – the game is already won, it’s just not over yet!… “For Jesus Christ must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. The last enemy to be destroyed is death.” 1 Corinthians 15:25-26

III – Believing that the Holy Spirit is given to us for this fight

– The Holy Spirit gives us his gifts: wisdom; intelligence; knowledge; strength; counsel; piety; fear. 

– The Holy Spirit frees us from evil and the devil

– The Holy Spirit equips us with his weapons for the fight, especially the shield of faith and the sword of the Spirit (the Word of God). ‘Put on the armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the devil’s devices.’ Ephesians 6:11-18

NSS – Next Small Step

– Make an act of faith in God’s goodness. For example: ‘Lord, I know that you love me and want my good.’

– Renounce evil and the temptations of the devil

– Ask the Holy Spirit to give us his gifts and fruits