In Partnership with

St Agatha’s Parish

North William Street, Dublin D01N7F6

St Laurence O’Toole Parish

Seville Place, North Wall, Dublin D01KN73

18th February 2024. First Sunday of Lent. DO YOU BELIEVE THE DEVIL EXISTS TODAY?

If people listening to the Gospel (Mk 1:12-15), still believe the devil does not exist, then their faith is weak. They’ve been seduced by the father of deceit. They are calling Jesus a liar, because He tells us today that Satan does exist, and He shows us that the devil excludes nobody from temptation that leads to sin. Jesus did not engage with the devil which is an example for us to follow. The devil’s mission is to infiltrate our minds, in order to get us to rebel against God’s divine will and teachings. The successful trick the devil performs today, is to convince the world that he does not exist, in order to ambush the unsuspecting soul. This is why Jesus came into the world, to enlighten the darkness of our minds and to rescue and redeem us from the devil’s mark of death. This mark excludes us from entering through the gates of heaven. Many Mass going Catholics say that they have faith, but they don’t see the necessity to repent in the sacrament of confession, where Jesus waits for them. Their faith is very much misguided. To refuse to repent is to follow the devil’s example. To refuse to follow Jesus’ instructions to repent, reveals a faith that is inadequate and indistinguishable from the devil’s way of life. Satan knows and believes in Jesus’ identity, but persistently refuses to repent and surrender to Jesus (James 2:19). Pride prevents the sinner confessing while humility leads the penitent to confess with a contrite heart. Temptation will always exist, in order to test our love, loyalty and obedience to God, who created us.
Christ teaches us how to resist temptation with a prayerful life and to deliver us from the evil one. Jesus came to enter into a covenant with us by opening our hearts to the Spirit of Truth through baptism (1Peter 3:18-22) where the mark of death is replaced with the mark of eternal life. Jesus gifts us faith which enables us to respond to His instructions. He brings spiritual healing to the spiritually blind and deaf. Our Lady of Fatima tells us that the main sin which leads souls to Hell, is caused by the sin of the flesh. We must see our bodies as temples to give glory to God and not give way to our selfish desires. If we don’t view sin as an act of betrayal and insult to Jesus, then we will continue to sin and be indifferent to the grace sent from heaven that gives us the knowledge of salvation. This grace is renewed in every confession. This is how we repent and believe the Good News. This Lent, let us fast from sin. God bless, Fr. Brendan.