Sunday, January 24, 2016
Never lose sight of the fact that you are at war!
Homily for Second Saturday of Ordinary Time in honor of Our Lady....
"He answered that many of the soldiers had fled the battle and that many of the them had fallen and were dead, among them Saul and his son Jonathan... They mourned and wept and fasted until evening, for Saul and his son Jonathan, and for the soldiers of the Lord of the clans of Israel, because they had fallen by the sword. Alas! the glory of Israel, Saul, slain upon your heights; how can the warriors have fallen! How can the warriors have fallen, the weapons of war have perished!" (2 Sam. 1:4,12,19,27)
We are at war and there are many who are falling into the death of sin and turning away from Life with the Kingdom of God because they are in battle and do not even know it. Even if a soldier somehow loses consciousness that he is in battle and is covered with armor, that armor will do him very little good if he does not take up his weapons to fight the enemy or to defend himself. How much worse is it when the soldier is in the midst of the battle and has forgotten all of his defense gear and failed to bring any weapons to battle! Yet, many souls in this world are like Saul and Jonathan, they are falling in the fields to their own death because they do not even realize that all of us are at war. We are not war with men, but with principalities and powers... with soldiers who remain unseen... the demonic. Even though we don't even want to recognize that they are among us and that we believe are o.k. and don't need to do anything but go on living our normal lives, they hate us and they are at war with us and our seeking to destroy us that we may fall in this battle to our eternal death by sin.
You are at war and these creatures are at war with you precisely because you belong to Our Lady and to Her Son, Jesus Christ. Because you are called to the Kingdom of God, the kingdom of darkness hates you and is out to destroy you.
"And the Lord said: Simon, Simon, behold Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat." (Luke 22:31)
If you do not believe you are at war or that there are unseen enemies out there who seek to destroy you and that they hate you, even if you don't want to recognize that you are at war, we have only to turn to Holy Scripture to see that this is not the case, that we are sadly mistaken and that we are perishing in battle if we do not take up our arms to not only defend ourselves but also to take up the call to battle:
"For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh.  For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty to God unto the pulling down of fortifications, destroying counsels..." (2 Cor. 10:3-4)
"Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, to refrain yourselves from carnal desires which war against the soul..." (1 Peter 2:11)
"And the dragon was angry against the woman: and went to make war with the rest of her seed, who keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ." (Rev. 12:17)
"Finally, brethren, be strengthened in the Lord, and in the might of his power. Put you on the armour of God, that you may be able to stand against the deceits of the devil. For our wrestling is not against flesh and blood; but against principalities and power, against the rulers of the world of this darkness, against the spirits of wickedness in the high places. Therefore take unto you the armour of God, that you may be able to resist in the evil day, and to stand in all things perfect. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of justice, And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace: In all things taking the shield of faith, wherewith you may be able to extinguish all the fiery darts of the most wicked one. And take unto you the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit (which is the word of God). By all prayer and supplication praying at all times in the spirit; and in the same watching with all instance and supplication for all the saints." (Ephes. 6:10-18)
SO, WHERE ARE YOUR WEAPONS? WHERE IS YOUR ARMOR? Turn to Our Lord for her protection. Wear the Brown Scapular, pray the Rosary daily, run to Our Lord in the Sacrament of Confession if you have fallen in battle and continue to run to there frequently (at least once a month), go to daily Mass if at all possible, pray, pray, pray, and take up the Holy Armor of Sacred Scripture by sitting at Our Lord's feet and listen to His Word so that He may strengthen you and encourage you in the day of battle.