First Reading: Romans 8:31-39
If God is for us, who can be against us?
He did not spare his own Son
but handed him over for us all,
how will he not also give us everything else along with him?
Who will bring a charge against God’s chosen ones?
It is God who acquits us.
Who will condemn?
It is Christ Jesus who died, rather, was raised,
who also is at the right hand of God,
who indeed intercedes for us.
What will separate us from the love of Christ?
Will anguish, or distress, or persecution, or famine,
or nakedness, or peril, or the sword?
As it is written:For your sake we are being slain all the day;
we are looked upon as sheep to be slaughtered.No, in all these things we conquer overwhelmingly
through him who loved us.
For I am convinced that neither death, nor life,
nor angels, nor principalities,
nor present things, nor future things,
nor powers, nor height, nor depth,
nor any other creature will be able to separate us
from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 109:21-22, 26-27, 30-31
Do you, O GOD, my Lord, deal kindly with me for your name’s sake;
in your generous mercy rescue me;
For I am wretched and poor,
and my heart is pierced within me.
R. Save me, O Lord, in your mercy.
Help me, O LORD, my God;
save me, in your mercy,
And let them know that this is your hand;
that you, O LORD, have done this.
R. Save me, O Lord, in your mercy.
I will speak my thanks earnestly to the LORD,
and in the midst of the throng I will praise him,
For he stood at the right hand of the poor man,
to save him from those who would condemn his soul.
R. Save me, O Lord, in your kindness.
Gospel: Luke 13:31-35
“Go away, leave this area because Herod wants to kill you.”
He replied, “Go and tell that fox,
‘Behold, I cast out demons and I perform healings today and tomorrow,
and on the third day I accomplish my purpose.
Yet I must continue on my way today, tomorrow, and the following day,
for it is impossible that a prophet should die
outside of Jerusalem.’“Jerusalem, Jerusalem,
you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you,
how many times I yearned to gather your children together
as a hen gathers her brood under her wings,
but you were unwilling!
Behold, your house will be abandoned.
But I tell you, you will not see me until the time comes when you say,
Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.”
It's a spooky time of year. We are days away from Halloween and there are ghosts, witches, and the walking dead all around. I don't mind lighthearted spookiness in cobwebs and Casper the Friendly Ghost, but I stay clear of the creepy and the downright evil. Here's why:
A few years ago, one of our children would awaken to someone calling their first name, telling us the voice sounded like a little girl's. That same child would also run down the hall in the middle of the night, screaming, crying, heart pounding, terrified of something, something they couldn't explain but it knew our child's name. I had always believed in the "visible and invisible" but it was this experience that initiated my desire to understand the difference between the invisible good and the invisible bad.
The invisible evil—demons and Satan himself, prowling about the world seeking the ruin of souls—are just as much a reality as our Guardian Angels and Saint Michael, who will defend us in battle and be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil.
When really scary stuff happens it is not the Ghostbusters who are called upon, it's the Catholic Church. There is power in the Sacraments and sacramentals like holy water; there is power in the very name of Jesus. When we were trying to figure out what was happening with our kiddo I found great peace knowing I could rely on His Name, prayers, and holy water to help us. I also found great peace in today's First Reading, especially this line:
For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities . . . nor any other creature will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
God loves my children more than I do and He would do anything to protect them. He has given me all the tools needed to protect them. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me, including protecting my children from the invisible evil.
Right now, evil is on full display with sexy everything costumes and a peaked interest in the occult. But Satan tries to get at us every day, trying to wear us down and separate us from the love of Christ. But nothing—nothing—can separate us from God and His love.
Pray the prayer to Saint Michael the Archangel.
Bonnie Engstrom is a writer, baker, speaker and homemaker. She lives with her husband and five children in central Illinois. You can find out more about her here.