Pope Francis during today's Mass in Santa Marta

PHOTO.VA - OSSERVATORE ROMANO

Pope’s Morning Homily: Be on Guard, Evil One Is Always Trying to Deceive

At Casa Santa Marta, Francis Considers Necessity of Discerning and Watchfulness

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Pope Francis today at his morning Mass in Casa Santa Marta recalled that a Christian should always discern what God is doing and asking in a situation, since the Evil One is always present as well, and trying to deceive.

Vatican Radio reported that the Holy Father drew his homily from today’s Gospel reading, in which Jesus is accused of driving out a demon by the “power of Beelzebul, the prince of demons.”

There was a group, the Holy Father said, “that did not appreciate him and sought to interpret Jesus’ words and actions in a different way, against Jesus. Some, for envy, others for doctrinal rigidity, others because they were afraid that the Romans would come and massacre them; for many reasons they sought to distance Jesus’ authority from the people, even with slander as in this case.”

Against such misinterpretations of a situation, Pope Francis invited Christians to discern the roots of any given situation, because in the life of faith “temptations always return, the Evil Spirit never tires.”

“The Evil One is hidden,” the Pope said, “he comes with his very educated friends, knocks at the door, asks for permission, comes in, and lives with that person. Drop by drop, he gives him instructions” on how to “do things with relativism.”

The Holy Father warned against allowing the conscience to be anesthetized.

“This is a great evil,” he said. “When the Evil Spirit succeeds in anesthetizing the conscience, it is then he can claim a true victory, for he has become the master of that conscience.”

To combat this, the Pope called for watchfulness, explaining:

“The Church counsels us to always make an examination of conscience: What happened today in my heart because of this?”

“Discernment: From where do these comments, words, teachings come? Who says this? 

“Let us ask the Lord for this grace: the grace of discernment and of watchfulness.”

Daily Mass readings provided by the US bishops’ conference:

Friday of the Twenty-seventh Week in Ordinary Time

Lectionary: 465

Reading 1

JL 1:13-15; 2:1-2

Gird yourselves and weep, O priests!

wail, O ministers of the altar!

Come, spend the night in sackcloth,

O ministers of my God!

The house of your God is deprived

of offering and libation.

Proclaim a fast,

call an assembly;

Gather the elders,

all who dwell in the land,

Into the house of the LORD, your God,

and cry to the LORD!

 

Alas, the day!

for near is the day of the LORD,

and it comes as ruin from the Almighty.

 

Blow the trumpet in Zion,

sound the alarm on my holy mountain!

Let all who dwell in the land tremble,

for the day of the LORD is coming;

Yes, it is near, a day of darkness and of gloom,a day of clouds and somberness!

Like dawn spreading over the mountains,

a people numerous and mighty!

Their like has not been from of old,

nor will it be after them,

even to the years of distant generations.

Responsorial Psalm

PS 9:2-3, 6 AND 16, 8-9

R. (9) The Lord will judge the world with justice.

I will give thanks to you, O LORD, with all my heart;

I will declare all your wondrous deeds.

I will be glad and exult in you;

I will sing praise to your name, Most High.

R. The Lord will judge the world with justice.

You rebuked the nations and destroyed the wicked;

their name you blotted out forever and ever.

The nations are sunk in the pit they have made;

in the snare they set, their foot is caught.

R. The Lord will judge the world with justice.

But the LORD sits enthroned forever;

he has set up his throne for judgment.

He judges the world with justice;

he governs the peoples with equity.

R. The Lord will judge the world with justice.

Alleluia

JN 12:31B-32

R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Open our hearts, O Lord,

to listen to the words of your Son.

R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel

LK 11:15-26

When Jesus had driven out a demon, some of the crowd said:

“By the power of Beelzebul, the prince of demons,

he drives out demons.”

Others, to test him, asked him for a sign from heaven.

But he knew their thoughts and said to them,

“Every kingdom divided against itself will be laid waste

and house will fall against house.

And if Satan is divided against himself, how will his kingdom stand?

For you say that it is by Beelzebul that I drive out demons.

If I, then, drive out demons by Beelzebul,

by whom do your own people drive them out?

Therefore they will be your judges.

But if it is by the finger of God that I drive out demons,

then the Kingdom of God has come upon you.

When a strong man fully armed guards his palace,

his possessions are safe.

But when one stronger than he attacks and overcomes him,

he takes away the armor on which he relied

and distributes the spoils.

Whoever is not with me is against me,

and whoever does not gather with me scatters.

 

“When an unclean spirit goes out of someone,

it roams through arid regions searching for rest

but, finding none, it says,

‘I shall return to my home from which I came.’

But upon returning, it finds it swept clean and put in order.

Then it goes and brings back seven other spirits

more wicked than itself who move in and dwell there,

and the last condition of that man is worse than the first.”

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