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Wednesday, June 29, 2005

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Sts. Peter & Paul

Acts 12:1-11
2 Timothy 4:6-8, 17-18
Psalm 34
Matthew 16:13-19

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"The gates of hell shall not prevail against it." —Matthew 16:18, KJV

I heard a priest give a homily on the above passage. He commented that gates are for defensive purposes only. Gates do not attack; they defend. When was the last time you heard about a gate attacking someone? This means that evil is to defend itself against us, not vice versa. We, the members of the Church of God, are to be on the offense, as Saints Peter and Paul repeatedly have shown us.

On the cross, Jesus definitively defeated Satan and his kingdom of darkness. On his way back to defeat and hell, Satan, in his fury, is trying to cause as many casualties as he can and damage God's kingdom as much as possible. We are in the mop-up phase of the cosmic, spiritual war. Although we must be careful not to cause others to become casualties or become casualties ourselves, we cannot allow ourselves to be intimidated (Mt 10:26) or manipulated into abandoning the offensive. We, the members of the church on earth, are called the "church militant" for a reason: we are to press the attack knowing that the stationary gates of hell "shall not prevail against" us (Mt 16:18). We wield "the weapons of righteousness" (2 Cor 6:7), and the weapons of prayer and fasting (Gospel of Life, Pope John Paul II, 100) are the most effective. Attack the gates of hell with the weapons of prayer, fasting, redemptive suffering, evangelization, eucharistic adoration, praise, teaching, and love. "Fight hard for the faith" (Jude 3).

Prayer:  Father, I will fight "the good fight" (2 Tm 4:7) for You.

Promise:  "The Lord stood by my side and gave me strength." —2 Tm 4:17

Praise:  Sts. Peter and Paul, two very diverse apostles, worked in unity, giving one another "the handclasp of fellowship" as a sign of their common bond to spread the good news of Jesus (Gal 2:9).

Reference:  (This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, December 20, 2004

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