Saturday, March 14, 2015
Diabolos = Scatterer: Daily Mass Homily--Thursday, March 12th, 2015
(Listen to this homily here).
The greatest work of Satan is fooling people into thinking he doesn't exist.
Here’s an interesting fact about Satan. The Greek word for devil—diabolos—means scatterer or divider. Did you catch these words in the Gospel? “Every kingdom divided against itself will be laid waste and house will fall against house.” “Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters.” A good rule of thumb—wherever there is division—in a marriage, family, parish, workplace—there is evil lurking behind it.
We like to think of Jesus and his compassion, forgiveness, healings and miracles. But we can’t forget that Jesus often cast out demons. In fact, Jesus’ ministry featured a war with evil itself.
Satan is real. That is a fact, just as we believe angels are real. Satan and demons do exist and they want to win souls away from God. And while movies portray evil in terrific ways—possessions—Satan often works in more subtle ways.
C.S. Lewis captured this reality in his book The Screwtape Letters (I highly recommend this book as we, too, battle evil!) when a senior demon instructs a novice, “Don’t tempt a man with murder when playing cards will do.” In our own lives, we choose to reject God not in major decisive acts but in small decisions, pleasures or wants.
Lent is a time to confront evil. Part of this confrontation is to remember that evil exists. But the most important fact of all—Jesus defeated evil. Through his victory we pray that we may be steadfast against all forms of evil in our lives.