Clergy Corner by Fr. Robert Falabella

And Jesus taught: “Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul; rather, be afraid of the one who can destroy both soul and body in Gehenna” (Matthew 10:28).

For the rest of us, we may ask who are those God is warning us to be aware of, who threaten to bring about the destruction of our soul’s ability to know and love God while here on earth, with its effect upon our bodies of ceasing to give glory to God through its sinful abuses of God’s Commandments. Such would become our eternal shame at the Final Judgment when Christ will come to judge the “living and the dead.” For, “The hour is coming in which all who are in the tombs will hear his voice and come out, those who have done good deeds, to the resurrection of life; but those who have done wicked deeds to the resurrection of condemnation (John 5:26, 29) …and these will go off to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life” (Matthew 25:46).

“Who is our enemy,” then, can be found in anyone capable of luring us away from the goal God has set before us -- a goal which would have the heavenly Father see and love in us what He sees and loves in His Son, Jesus Christ -- with its concomitant ecstasy of joy in eternally residing in His Kingdom.

Such a spiritually destructive threat can be found in those in our daily environment who sadly have themselves lost the gift of faith and would have us share in what has become their spiritual impoverishment.

But of all the sources of temptation that can contribute to our spiritual demise and loss of eternal happiness, the most lethal ENEMY can be OURSELVES who, while made by God with the ability to be rational, can choose to be irrational, as exemplified originally by Adam and Eve choosing to listen to a sinfully rebellious creature of God rather than God the Creator, -- paralleled today in a world choosing a culture of death over a culture of life. 

The more meaningful question then is not simply “who is our enemy,” since they are Legion, but rather who is our true friend? When you look at the Cross, Jesus alone is the only voice that assures us: “This day you will be with me in Paradise.”

Tags: Fr. Robert, Clergy Corner

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