Monday, March 10, 2014

Rejecting Satan

Praised be Jesus, Mary, and Joseph!

Most of us associate Lent with penance and mortification and very few give due regard to the baptismal character of the season. Lent is a period of preparation for catechumens who will be baptized on Easter vigil. It is also a period of preparation for us, the baptized, to renew our baptismal vows on the same Easter feast. The series of Lenten readings for this year will help us contemplate on this great sacrament of Baptism.

We begin by looking at the real abasement of the human being. Last Ash Wednesday, the ashes imposed on our foreheads reminded us of our mortality: Remember, man, that you are dust and to dust you shall return. Death, which is the way of all flesh, was inflicted to us on account of our slavery to sin. St. Paul reminds us: “Through one man, sin entered the world, and through sin, death, and thus, death came to all men, inasmuch as all sinned.” Sin entered the world because our first parents were deceived by the Serpent who was the most cunning of all the animals. They believed the serpent who told them: “You certainly will not die!” They believed the serpent’s word over God’s word which allowed them to eat the fruit of any tree except that of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. The devil indeed is the father of lies. His assurance that they would not die was all a lie. They were fooled by appearances: the woman saw that the tree was good for food, pleasing to the eyes, and desirable for gaining wisdom. Taking the forbidden fruit, they caused death on all humanity.

The Lord Jesus, the Son of God, came to earth to destroy the works of the devil. Physically weakened by fasting, the Lord confronted the devil who came to tempt him. The devil came with his attractions and his empty promises: food that does not satisfy, fame that is not lasting, and kingdoms that he could not give. Son of God that he is, the Lord Jesus reveals that only the Word of God gives life and satisfies the hunger of the soul. He also reveals that the Father’s love is sure and needs not to be tested. Lastly, he need not bow in worship of the devil because all authority in heaven and earth are bestowed on him by the Father in heaven. It is only to the Father that he bows in filial obedience. And it is his filial obedience to the Father that brings “acquittal and life to all.” “Through the obedience of one, the many will be made righteous.”

As we prepare to renew our baptismal vows, let us be resolute in our rejection of Satan, his works and his pomps. Satan cannot deliver anything he promises, no matter how pleasing and appealing it may be. The only thing he gives us is death. Satan loves no one but himself. He hates us for being the image and likeness of God. He looks at us and he sees the God whom he hates. Only in Christ can we find life and salvation. God, in Christ, loves us all very dearly. With the assurance of God’s love for us, let us cast away Satan: Get away Satan! The Lord, your God, shall you worship and him alone shall you serve!

Jesus, I trust in you! O Mary conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee!


1 comment:


    The corollary of rejecting positive commands always results in negative outcomes.

    EXAMPLE: If you are commanded to eat food and drink water so you may stay alive; the inference is if you do not eat and drink you will die.


    Acts 16:30-31 and after he brought them out, he said. "Sirs, what must I do to be saved ?" 31 They said, "Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.

    The positive command: Believe in the Lord Jesus to be saved.

    The corollary: If you do not believe you will remain lost.

    Matthew 10:22 You will be hated by all because of My name, but it is the one who has endured to the end who will be saved.

    The positive statement: Endure to the end to be saved.

    The corollary: Those who do not endure will be lost.

    Mark 16:16 ....and has been baptized shall be saved.....

    The positive statement: Has been baptized shall be saved.

    The corollary: Those who have not been baptized will not be saved.

    John 10:9 I am the door; if anyone enters through Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture.

    The positive statement: Jesus said enter through Him and you will be saved.

    The corollary: If you do not enter through Jesus you will be lost.

    Acts 2:21 'And it shall be that everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.'

    The positive statement: Everyone who calls on the Lord will be saved.

    The corollary: If you do not call on the Lord you will not be saved.

    Romans 10:9 that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead. you will be saved;

    The positive statement: Confess Jesus as Lord and believe in the bodily resurrection of Jesus and you will be saved.

    The corollary: Fail to confess and believe and you will be lost.

    Acts 2:38 Peter said to them, "Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

    The positive statement: Repent and be baptized and your sins will be forgiven and you will receive the gift the the Holy Spirit.

    The corollary: Reject baptism and fail to repent; and your sins will not be forgiven and you will not receive the indwelling gift of the Holy Spirit.

    1 Corinthians 5:1-5.....I have decided to deliver such a one to Satan, for the destruction of his flesh, so that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.

    The positive statement: If the church disciplines immoral church members and they repent they will be saved.

    The corollary: If the church fails to discipline immoral church members and they fail to repent they will be lost.

    Act 3:19 Therefore repent and return, so that your sins may be wiped away, in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord;

    The positive statement: If you repent of your unbelief and sin, and turn toward God your sins will be wiped away.

    The corollary: If you do not repent your sins will remain on your record.

    2 Thessalonians 2:10 and with all the deception of the wickedness for those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth so as to be saved.

    The negative statement: Some men will not be saved because they did not love the truth.

    The corollary: If you love the truth you will be saved.

    1 Peter 3:20-21...safely through water. 21 Corresponding to that, baptism now saves you---not the removal of dirt from the flesh, but an appeal to God for a good conscience---through the resurrection of Jesus Christ,

    The positive state: Baptism saves you because of your appeal to God.

    The corollary: If you do not appeal to God through water baptism, then, baptism cannot save you.