Speaking to pilgrims gathered in St. Peter’s Square for the Sunday Angelus, Pope Francis explained how the Word of God shows us the path to live fruitfully the 40 days of Lent we have just embarked upon.
The Pope continued that the entire ministry of Christ marks a struggle against the Evil One – whether healing from illness, liberating the possessed, and forgiving sins. While it may appear that the devil has the upper hand when the Son of God is rejected, captured and condemned to death, in reality, the Pope remarked, “death was the last ‘desert’ to cross” to finally defeat Satan and free us all from his power.
The Pope said when we read about the desert and temptations, Christians are reminded that by following in the Lord’s footsteps, our lives also are a struggle against the spirit of evil, where the devil can tempt us. He said we must be fully aware of the presence of this astute enemy “who seeks our eternal condemnation, our failure, and prepare to defend ourselves against him and to combat him.” He added that Jesus never dialogued with the devil. Rather, Jesus always sent him away or responded with the Word of God. We also, the Pope said, should never enter into dialogue with the devil and his temptations.
At the same time, the grace of God assures us, that with faith, prayer and penance, we can defeat the enemy.
In conclusion, the Pope said, “We are called to walk in God’s footsteps, renewing our Baptismal promises: renouncing Satan, and all his works and all his empty promises.”. He then encouraged us to call on the maternal intercession of the Virgin Mary.
By Vatican News