How to combat Satan?

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The WORD in other words (2021) Fr. Felmar Castrodes Fiel, SVD / DYRF-Radio, University of San Carlos- Cebu City

Friday 27th Week in Ordinary Time

According to Fr. Jose Francisco “Jocis” Syquia, the chief exorcist of the Office of Exorcism at the Archdiocese of Manila, there was a steady increase in demonic possession cases the past decade. In 2006, his office was created to respond to the growing cases of Filipinos who were in need of deliverance. 

Today, our gospel talks about Jesus accused by the leaders of using the power of the prince of demons when he was driving out the evil spirit. It would seem that the leaders of His time could never be satisfied even with the many miracles they personally saw that Jesus performed. They kept asking Him for signs. 

Also, the gospel reminds us that with Jesus, there is no neutrality. We are either for God or not for God. There is no middle ground. We have to make our choice: for Him or against Him. If we choose to keep God away from our lives, then we open our doors to the power of sin and Satan. In his January 7, 2020 Holy Mass at the Domus Sanctae Marthae, Pope Francis reminded believers that we must be on guard against the spirit of worldliness that confuses and blurs the lines between what is good and evil. He challenged Catholics to “put the spirit to test,” that is, to ask if one’s feelings, thoughts, or actions come from the spirit of God or from the spirit of the world.

Moreover, leave no vacancy for the devil in your heart. Jesus tells of a vacant house being occupied by an evil force. We must always be on guard. Peter, in his letter, warns: “Be alert, be on watch; for your enemy the devil roams around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.” (1 Peter 5:8)

Today, we also remember Our Lady of the Rosary. We ask Mary’s intercession to help us be vigilant in the face of many temptations and not submit to any idols. While we understand that God is indeed all-powerful and genuinely cares for His children, we cannot also afford to relax spiritually. It is vital that we know. Satan is also fearlessly waiting to strike. With Mary, who crushed the serpent’s head, we have to faithfully do our part. 

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