Friday, October 12, 2012

The Kingdom of God Has Come Upon You

The Kingdom of God Has Come Upon You

October 12, 2012
Friday of the Twenty-seventh Week in Ordinary Time

By Melanie Rigney
And that no one is justified before God by the law is clear, for the one who is righteous by faith will live. But the law does not depend on faith; rather, the one who does these things will live by them. (Galatians 3:11-12)
The Lord will remember his covenant forever. (Psalms 111:5)

But if it is by the finger of God that I drive out demons, then the Kingdom of God has come upon you. When a strong man fully armed guards his palace, his possessions are safe. But when one stronger than he attacks and overcomes him, he takes away the armor on which he relied and distributes the spoils. Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters. (Luke 11:20-23)

Jesus loves me! This I know, for the Bible tells me so. Little ones to Him belong; they are weak but He is strong. Yes, Jesus loves me! Yes, Jesus loves me! Yes, Jesus loves me! The Bible tells me so. (Lyrics by Anna Bartlett Warner; tune by William Batchelder)

Jesus’s analogy in today’s Gospel reading today is so challenging—and yet so comforting.

Sometimes, we go along for months or years or decades, overcoming temptation and evil in our lives on a daily basis, strong in the Word and our faith. As the Catechism tells us: “As long as freedom has not bound itself definitively to its ultimate good which is God, there is the possibility of choosing between good and evil, and thus of growing in perfection or of failing and sinning. This freedom characterizes properly human acts. It is the basis of praise or blame, merit or reproach. The more one does what is good, the freer one becomes.” And so we become richer in love and in faith.

But because we’re human, we’re also going to have those attacks—some of us more frequently than others—that are stronger than our own armor and gates. The devil comes along and tempts us with power or money or status or any of a million other bits of bait that target one of the places we haven’t totally bound to God. Sometimes, we don’t even realize that place is still there, and sometimes giving into the temptation doesn’t seem like a big deal. Sometimes, we get quite a ways down the road before we recognize evil for what it is… and by then, all the doors and windows may be unlocked, and refortifying may seem almost impossible.

But it isn’t impossible—ever. Because whether evil threatens to overrun our interior castle or is simply rapping at the window in an attractive, hard-to-resist package, we have the ultimate, not-so-secret weapon: God. Because no one, nowhere, no how, can beat God, and he’s always there to be strong for us. We just have to be humble enough to call in that weapon early and often.

Just for today, quit trying to be strong. Ask for God’s guidance with all your challenges. See how much lighter you feel at the end of the day.

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