The history of our world is, to a large extent, the story of war, lust, greed and selfishness. So, what’s behind it all? Well, today’s gospel, as well as much of Sacred Scripture, implies that it is the devil. Many people today will say that believing that there is a devil is naïve and childish, but surely the opposite is true. The Scriptures teach that there are intelligent, highly powerful forces of evil in the world. We only have to open our history books to appreciate how that teaching is in accord with reality.
We will never forget what atrocities the Nazis perpetrated during the Second World War. Or how the former Yugoslavians tore each other apart. Even Communism began with a certain sincerity and good intention on the part of Marx and Lenin, but look what a monster it became.
The devil puts ideas into people’s heads under the guise that the ideas represent freedom and goodness. One can assume the terrorist attack in London yesterday was motivated by noble intentions. The same may be said of those who promote abortion, euthanasia, and physician assisted suicide.
Ours is not a religion for prudes, like the scribes and Pharisees, who were just waiting for Our Lord to do something wrong so that they could pounce on him and condemn him. But we must make no mistake about the fact that there is a war going on, a war between good and evil in our world. Our Lord warns us today that we must take sides. There can be no sitting on the fence. If we are not for Christ and his teaching, then we are against him!