Luke 11: 15-26 They Tested Him
Life is a battle. Every day is a struggle. EVERY DAY is a struggle. If I do not pray, then I am fighting with both hands tied behind my back. I will lose. I will cave in. I will die. I will easily forget why I am here. Why am I here? The answer is shocking: to be another Christ to the world. And maybe my world right now consists of taking care of my newborn baby, staying close to a dying relative, being faithful, loving to my spouse, devoting my life, money or talents to a particular mission or apostolate. It could be all of the above too. If I do not pray, then I will make some horrible decisions. I will be confused as to what I must do. I will not follow the Lord’s shadow but rather my own. Or worse, I will follow someone else.
This morning I woke up and found the following messages: “Good morning Father! I hope you have an awesome day…Help save or change someone’s life today.” And another: “Thank you Father for talking to me yesterday, I had the most amazing day today. God is good all the time. Have a blessed day…” Of course they are not always so loving and so inspiring. But must we not accept the good as well as the bad from God? Of course! The Lord is an expert in taking the bad and converting it, transforming it, into a good. He can do it in any situation and he can do it through me, with me and in me; in the unity of the Holy Spirit. All glory and power is yours Almighty Father, forever and ever.
Today, I will be tested. I can be sure of it. The angels of heaven and hell, light and darkness, good and evil are already gathering to do battle on earth. Waves of evil will sweep across the earth. Waves of love, mercy and compassion will fill the earth. I will hear the voices of the angels telling me to do this or to do that. I will be thrown into the arena. I will hear the shouts from the crowd gathered to watch the enormous spectacle. I will either bear witness, either to weakness or to power. Today will either be a test or the real thing! I may die or I may live. I may return unscathed or brutally beaten. But no matter what, I will never return the same. How I fight will determine how I live, how those around me live, how the next generation remembers me and how I am remembered by the Lord. For this reason, I pray “Lead us not into temptation.”
“A house divided cannot stand.” The devil loves to divide and conquer. He loves gossip, chatter, nonsense. He despises honor. He enjoys spreading fear and rejection. He loves broken friendships, dishonest friends, selfish friends, and self serving individuals. He loves those who do not trust, do not commit and do not serve. He loves the ones that depend on themselves. He loves Independence Day. He invites all of us to cut the strings that tie us to the Lord and wrap them around a tree, like Judas. “Cursed be everyone who hangs from a tree.” (Gal 3:7-14)
The Lord promises us what he promised Abraham: Through you shall all the nations be blessed. And it happened. Will it happen through me? This is why life is a battle. The lines have been drawn: Life or Death, Heaven or Hell, Good or Evil. “Cursed be everyone who does not persevere in doing all the things written in the book of the law.” The Law and God are very clear. We don’t want to hear these words. Unfortunately, they do not come from me. They come from God.
Today, let us go out of our homes and into our field of battle with a loving heart, a gentle heart and a heart made of steel. I will accomplish what the Lord demands from me or die trying.