Wednesday of the Thirteenth Week in Ordinary Time
There seems to be some discussion of late about the reality of the devil. This is really quite foolish; how can one argue against the presence of the devil that so clearly exists from roles in Broadway musicals to key protagonists in Hollywood films? Besides these astute reflections on the human condition, the devil certainly seems present in today’s scripture. Just recently, the devil made an appearance under the foot of St. Michael the Archangel with an image of this angelic triumph on a very large canvas unfurled in front of St. Peter’s Basilica for the Feast of Sts. Peter and Paul. Not wanting to dismiss volumes on the reality of the devil we may want to place the real emphasis on where it belongs, the power of Christ. Today’s readings point to the reality of Christ’s power over evil, a power that is hinted at with the episode with the swine and fully manifested with the resurrection. Our understanding of evil of the world is correctly understood in light of this resurrection. We want to “give the devil his due,” but in light of the salvific work of Christ, he is owed very little. We cannot be ignorant or naïve about the place of evil in the world, but we cannot be men and women without hope and faith, virtues grounded in the redemptive work of the Trinity.