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Saturday, March 31, 2001

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Jeremiah 11:18-20
Psalm 7
John 7:40-53

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the 14-day war

"Yet I, like a trusting lamb led to slaughter, had not realized that they were hatching plots against me." —Jeremiah 11:19

Two weeks from today is Holy Saturday and Easter Vigil. Spiritual warfare may well intensify as we near the time to renew our baptismal promises. This renewal is the culmination of Lent and the center of the year. Because of this renewal's strategic importance, the devil rages as we prepare to reject him, all his works, and all his empty promises. We may experience persecution as plots are hatched against us (Jer 11:19). We may be surrounded by confusion and division (see Jn 7:43). We may be ridiculed (see Jn 7:47) and taunted (see Jn 7:52) for our faith in the Lord.

To claim Jesus' victory in spiritual warfare:

  • "fix your eyes on Jesus" (Heb 3:1),
  • praise the Lord, especially at Mass (see Ps 8:3),
  • repent and go to Confession,
  • wield "the sword of the Spirit, the word of God" (Eph 6:17),
  • attack the evil one through prayer and especially through fasting (Mt 17:21),
  • surround yourself with Christian community (see Heb 12:1) to avoid becoming isolated in spiritual warfare, and
  • "rejoice in the Lord always" (Phil 4:4).

Prayer:  Father, "to You I have entrusted my cause!" (Jer 11:20)

Promise:  "No man ever spoke like that before." —Jn 7:46

Praise:  Young Jerry threw up daily for several winters. His parents brought Jerry to a small Christian community for prayer. To the joy of his parents, Jesus healed him of the affliction.

Reference:  (For related teaching, order our leaflet, Spiritual Warfare.)

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Ralph J. Lawrence, August 9, 2000

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, August 18, 2000