What a great message the Lord gives to the people through the prophet Amos in our first reading today from Amos 5: “Seek good and not evil, that you may live. Hate evil and love good, and let justice prevail at the gate.” God then lets the people know that it is not noisy songs and burnt offerings that He desires, but that the people listen to His word and do good.
Our Gospel reading today is from Matthew 8. Jesus meets up with two people possessed by demons. The demons plead with Jesus to send them into a nearby herd of swine. Jesus does so, and the whole herd of swine go and jump off a cliff into the sea, where they all drown. Needless to say, the townspeople are none too happy with this turn of events. The whole town comes out and begs Jesus to leave their district.
The men who were possessed by demons could do nothing about their condition. They were powerless to defeat these demons on their own. This is, I believe, a stark reminder for us. We are the same way. If we try to take on Satan with our own measly power, we are sure to be losers. Satan knows exactly which buttons to push to get us to do his bidding. But when we invite Jesus into the fight…victory is assured! It may not be immediate, and we may fall back again and again. But if we continually rely on Jesus’ strength and not our own, Satan doesn’t stand a chance.
Father, help us to realize our own weakness against the power of Satan. May we call on Jesus and rely on His power in every spiritual battle. Amen.