In Partnership with

St Agatha’s Parish

North William Street, Dublin D01N7F6

St Laurence O’Toole Parish

Seville Place, North Wall, Dublin D01KN73

28th January 2024. Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time. SATAN ALWAYS CHALLENGES THE AUTHORITY OF CHRIST

Have you noticed (Mark 1:21-28), how the unclean spirit recognised Jesus immediately. All demonic evil spirits cannot help themselves shouting the identity of the Holy One of God, when in the presence of Truth. They know Jesus, because it was His supreme Authority that threw them out of Heaven, after they rebelled against His Word. Remember that God became visible in the Person of Jesus. So, Jesus is God in human form. He becomes visible to us today in His sacramental Body in Holy Communion. When the Priest says; the Body of Christ, we reply, Amen, meaning, Yes, I believe this is true. Satan and his unclean spirits want us to doubt this Truth, in order to destroy the Church, and the faith of her members. Satan will not succeed, because Jesus will Triumph in the end. Christ’s teaching attacks the kingdom of Satan and is intended to defeat the evil presence in humanity and bring about healing. Jesus’ authority puts the devil in crisis and makes him recoil, obliging him to leave the world.
Touched by Jesus’ command, the possessed man in the gospel, is freed and transformed into a new person. The exact same thing happens us in every confession. In order to free ourselves from the possession of sin, we enter confession to encounter the authority of Christ, where He casts out the unclean spirits of sin and brings us healing. Only Jesus, the Eternal High Priest, has the supreme authority to cast out demons and He does this now through His Priests. To live in sin, is to give Satan a disordered authority to rule and guide our lives. Sadly, Hell is full of such damned souls.
When Satan was once the heavenly Archangel Lucifer, he thought he could take over Heaven, and rule it himself without God. He is now trying to takeover God’s Church on earth and rule it himself without God. It may look like he is succeeding, but in the end, he will fail. Jesus can never be defeated. To live by the authority of Christ is to live a holy and humble life. The devil’s trick is to get us to challenge divine authority, by stamping our own authority on the Church. St Paul says that we need to give our undivided attention to the Lord (1 Cor 7:32-35). He encourages people to remain single, if they wish to give their full lives to God. This is promoting the beautiful gift of celibacy, which Priests and Religious, willingly give to God, as a sacrifice. Remember, that it was through Sacrifice that Jesus brought redemption into the world. All of us are called to make sacrifices, in order to become partakers in the redemption of the world. Priests and Religious must lead the way. God bless, Fr. Brendan.