"do you renounce satan?"
"Some of them said, 'It is by Beelzebul, the prince of devils, that He casts out devils.' " —Luke 11:15
Some people accused Jesus of driving out demons by Beelzebul, the prince of demons. We may have sinned many times, but that's one sin we likely have never committed. In our secularized society, many don't even believe the devil exists. Consequently, they would not attribute any of Jesus' works to the devil. Many are too ignorant or heretical to commit the sin referred to in today's Gospel reading.
In a few short weeks, at every Catholic Mass in the whole world on Easter Sunday, we will be asked the question: "Do you renounce Satan?" Those who are so secularized as to deny or doubt the devil's existence or activity will not be able to answer that question. Even those who acknowledge the devil's existence may be hard pressed to renounce Satan, all his works, and all his empty promises. When we are aware that Satan exists, we probably know that he is aware of our renouncing him. Many, and Satan especially, react to renunciation with retaliation. Therefore, we must be protected before "picking a fight" with Satan by renouncing him. We must repent of our sins and commit ourselves totally to Jesus. Then we are under Jesus' protection and can renounce Satan. Prepare to renounce Satan.
Prayer: Father, may the renewal of my baptismal promises at Mass on Easter be all You want it to be.
Promise: "Listen to My voice; then I will be your God and you shall be My people. Walk in all the ways that I command you, so that you may prosper." —Jer 7:23
Praise: When renewing her baptismal vows, Linda makes a special point of really listening to the words, then responding with true conviction.
Reference: (For a related teaching, order our leaflet, Do You Renounce Satan?, or our audio tape AV 44-1 or video tape V-44.)
Rescript: †Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, August 26, 2009
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