Man, I love today's first reading. I love the message, I love the imagery, I love the way it artfully communicates the reality of our world. Truly we are in a battle and the Lord has given us everything necessary to play our part. No, this battle may not look like the clashing of swords and the dodging of bullets, but we require the discipline of a soldier nonetheless.
God, through the Holy Spirit, has given us everything necessary, from our armor to our weapons, but we need to train with them. That's why daily prayer is so vital! We may have the breastplate of righteousness and the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, but do we know how to weild them? Do we know how to wear them without becoming weary? We receive all these gifts and more at baptism and they're sealed at Confirmation, but that doesn't mean that we know what we're doing with them. Just like a soldier, we must train. Prayer is our bootcamp and the Eucharist is our sustenance.
I challenge you to pray with this passage from Ephesians today. It was my go-to for prayer a month or two ago and it was so vitally important. This passage communicates the truth to us and calls us out of our distractions. "For our struggle is not with flesh and blood but with the principalities, with the pwoers, with the world rulers of this present darkness, with the evil spirits in the heavens." I don't care what your political leaning is. Our enemy is not Trump or Biden. Our enemy is not China or Russia. Any evil we see in the world is the world of these rulers of darkness that Paul writes of. Don't point your wrath towards human enemies and be distracted from the goal. Humans don't deserve our hate or our wrath, the devil wants to stir it up within us and then misdirect it. I have my political opinions as much as the next guy, but the moment I hate one party, the moment I hate anything really, more than I hate my own sin... then the devil has taken the high ground.
-Amanda Benner, Director of Evangelization