Today the Church celebrates the Feast of St. Mark. Mark was a disciple of St. Peter. Peter’s teachings are the basis for Mark’s gospel. Mark accompanied St. Paul on his first missionary journey and was also a traveling companion of St. Peter, as we see in today’s first reading. Of course, our Gospel reading today is the end of Mark. It is his version of Jesus’ great commission – “Go into the whole world and proclaim the Gospel to every creature.”
In the first reading today from 1 Peter 5, St. Peter has some sobering words, especially for those who doubt the existence of the devil. “Be sober and vigilant. Your opponent the Devil is prowling around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” What a striking visual image that paints. Looking for someone to devour. Isn’t it interesting that today it seems that the devil is indeed devouring so many people. Yet they have no idea they are being devoured.
I believe that one of Satan’s greatest ploys is to get people to believe that evil is good and good is evil. We see this happening so much today. Abortion is a “choice.” Euthanasia is “mercy killing.” And those who oppose these things are not thought to be good, but evil. Rest assured that Satan will stop at nothing until he devours the whole world. St. Peter tells us today to “resist him, steadfast in faith.” He then goes on to talk about how, when we do resist the devil, there will be suffering. But in the end, when we do resist and do not let Satan devour us, God will have the last word. See what St. Peter has to say about it.
Father, give us the strength today to resist the devil, that we may not be devoured by him. Through our fervent prayers, we ask that you protect our children, our families, our Church and our world from the roaring lion. Amen.