I was asked to preach both last night and this morning. The Gospel readings for Mass the past couple of days were taken from St. John’s Gospel and the account of Jesus’ farewell discourse to his disciples. Two very beautiful readings, in that yesterday we heard of Jesus consecrating us in truth and praying that the Father protect us from the Evil One, and today his prayer that all his disciples may be one as he and the Father are one.
In other words, Jesus was speaking of the Truth, Satan and Church unity.
It is well-known that Satan has absolutely no authority over our wills. We have free will. The devil knows full well how our wills were created by God, how they were created to always choose what is apprehended to be “good,” that we are unable to choose something that at the moment of our choice we are convinced is “not good.” This is not to say that we don’t sin, or make “bad” choices, for we certainly do. But our wills are not the real problem, and Satan knows this.
What he attacks is our intellects. He is very good at this.
Satan has two big strategies he uses to get us to choose something that may seem good at the moment, but in fact is anything but good. These strategies are: 1) Distort the truth, i.e., lie, create doubt and confusion so we can no longer give clear direction to our wills, our choices; and 2) Create disunity, division, disorder and disharmony.
Jesus knew the tactics of the devil very well and for that reason, he prays that his followers be “consecrated in truth,” that they be protected from the Evil One, and that they be united just as he is united with the Father. It is through being consecrated to the truth, turning a deaf ear to the lies and distortions of Satan, and by remaining united to the Body of Christ, listening to the teaching of truth by the Church, and receiving his body and blood in Holy Communion, that we will be brought to true happiness and peace.
There are many voices out in the world today about many things of great importance: abortion, euthanasia, capital punishment, attempts to redefine marriage, etc. Many voices that distort the truth, create doubt and confusion among the faithful, and are direct attempts to create disharmony and division in the Body of Christ. It may sound, perhaps, a bit dramatic to say that these voices are the tools Satan is using to work his will in our world and our lives. The pro-abortionists, the euthanasia promoters, advocates of “same-sex marriage” — all have taken the truth and distorted it into a lie that appears “good” or pleasing.
All sin looks appealing at the time we commit it. All sin is the result of a lie we have accepted on some level, which brings disunity and divisions that our Lord prayed we would not experience.
Let us keep our eyes on Jesus. Let us listen to his word, the word of truth in which we have been consecrates at our baptisms, the truth that is faithfully taught and passed on to us when the Church speaks on matters of faith and morals.
Let us turn a deaf ear to the lies and distortions, my friends. The cost of not doing so has may have everlasting consequences.