Both St. Paul and Jesus speak of the challenges all disciples face from the wolves that seek to tear us out of God’s hand. Knowing that we will face our own spiritual battles, may we fearlessly call upon the Lord for the grace we need to respond with the gift of faith.
St. Stephen’s death serves as a sharp contrast from the glory Christ’s birth. Yet this contrast helps us engage in the spiritual battle that is part of our earthly life as we face our struggles with the grace of Jesus.
Jesus drives out a demon and then teaches others how to keep evil away from their hearts. It’s a good reminder for us as well; we are called each day to be vigilant in the spiritual battle as we guard the sanctity of our souls.
The readings state plainly the hostility and difficulty we often find in lives. Sometimes the battle is outside ourselves, and sometimes it is within. Yet as we fight our battles, we constantly use our most powerful weapon: the grace we receive through our faith in Jesus Christ!
Poor St. Peter! One minute he is named by Jesus as the rock upon which the Church will be built, and the next minute he is chastised by the Lord for falling prey to temptation. Welcome to the spiritual life! Yet this spiritual battle of building up and tearing down is part of our journey of faith, inviting us to always keep our focus on Christ.
Sometimes life is a battle, where we face struggles and challenges that test our endurance, discipline and will. We turn to the Lord for the strength we need to face our fight, confident that Christ will guide us.