2021-01-314th Sunday in Ordinary TimeRev. Msgr. Michael J. Motta, D.Min

The Gospel talks about a man who has an unclean spirit. The man cried out, `What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth. Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are - the Holy One of God.`

Jesus rebuked him and said, `Quiet! Come out of him.` The unclean spirit convulsed him and with a loud cry came out of him. All were amazed and asked one another, `What is this? A new teaching with authority. He commands even the unclean spirit and they obey him.`

When we talk about an unclean spirit we are talking about the devil.

There are those people today who do not believe in the devil. Many think that what Jesus did was help out a man with a mental illness.

Then there are others who think that they would be able to recognize the devil because his appearance would give his identity away. They would say that the devil does not look like us. He is a red figure with horns. So they do not take the devil seriously because who has even seen a creature that looks like that?

I believe that the devil is very active today in this world. The devil is very attractive. He or she comes with a human disguise. Everything that he or she says to us is very appealing, but everything the devil says goes contrary to what Jesus teaches us.

Jesus tells us to be generous to the poor. The devil says that there is no need to do so.

Jesus tells us to love our neighbor and to love our enemies as well. The devil says that type of thinking is ridiculous. Take care of yourself. Get more weapons so that you can do so.

Jesus asks us to be pure. Jesus asks us to be faithful to our married partner. The devil encourages us to have as many sexual partners as possible.

Jesus tells us to be truthful and to admit that we are sinners in need of salvation. The devil says that there is no need to pray or worship God.

At the end of Mass we have been praying to St. Michael the Archangel. Saint is used for humans and Archangel as well. Saint means to be holy.

The devils are fallen angels. They made a decision not to follow God. They are responsible for much that is wrong with our world. I am sure that the devils are behind the terrorist activity. I am sure that the devil is behind the wars that we fight. I am sure that the devil is behind the harmful drugs that people take.

So, do not dismiss the devil. The devil is very active in the world. Hell is the absence of God for all eternity. Heaven is the presence of God. It is only in heaven that we will find total fulfillment.

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