Contending with the devil

stmikeToday we celebrate the feast of the archangels, Sts. Michael, Gabriel and Raphael. Angels are mentioned over 3000 times in scripture, but these three are the only ones ever mentioned by name. We see a war going on in the first reading, a war between St. Michael and Satan. A couple lessons here. We cannot be afraid to “contend with the devil,” which the Book of Jude tells us St Michael did. Too often we make peace with the sin in our lives, and let the devil have his way. We are meant to contend with him. Another lesson is that the devil is at work, but goodness wins against him. Pope Francis talks about the Devil a lot, and notes that he is working everywhere. But, with St Michael’s help and our faithfulness, he will not prevail. As the first reading says, Michael and his angels fought against the devil, and the devil fought back but was not strong enough. Last lesson. In the Gospel, Jesus says that there is no duplicity in Nathaniel. He had won against the Devil. Pray God may it be so. St. Michael the archangel, defend us in battle. Be our safeguard against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him we humbly pray, and do thou o Prince of the Heavenly Host, by the power of God, thrust into hell Satan and all the evil spirits who prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls.