Day 28: The Armor of God

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Let us remember that we are in the presence of a holy God.

Praise the Lord in his holy place.

Take one minute of silence now, praying for God’s blessing on you, your family, fraternity, and all Exodus Men.

St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle.

Be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the Devil.

May God rebuke him, we humbly pray, and do thou, O Prince of the heavenly hosts, by the power of God, cast into hell Satan and all the evil spirits, who prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls. Amen.

Just are you in these your judgments, you who are and were, O Holy One.

A Reading from the Book of Revelation

Then I heard a loud voice from the temple telling the seven angels, “Go and pour out on the earth the seven bowls of the wrath of God.”

So the first angel went and poured his bowl on the earth, and foul and evil sores came upon the men who bore the mark of the beast and worshiped its image.

The second angel poured his bowl into the sea, and it became like the blood of a dead man, and every living thing died that was in the sea.

The third angel poured his bowl into the rivers and the fountains of water, and they became blood.

And I heard the angel of water say, “Just are you in these your judgments, you who are and were, O Holy One.

For men have shed the blood of saints and prophets, and you have given them blood to drink.

It is their due!”

And I heard the altar cry, “Yes, Lord God the Almighty, true and just are your judgments!”

The fourth angel poured his bowl on the sun, and it was allowed to scorch men with fire; men were scorched by the fierce heat, and they cursed the name of God who had power over these plagues, and they did not repent and give him glory.

Reflection

Throughout Revelation, we see affirmations of God’s justice.

We tend to think that we have a right to certain things or are owed them.

In fact, everything we have is a gift.

By sinning, we are the debtors.

God does not owe us anything.

He freely offers and fulfills his promises to us.

He is love, however, and wants to give us everything.

We are the ones who owe him our whole lives in homage, thanksgiving, and praise.

Everything that we have received as a gift, we need to give back to him in worship.

We see, however, that at the heart of the rebellion is the refusal to give God what he is due.

First, he wants us to seek him out of love and gratitude.

When we refuse, he teaches us through his justice, still seeking to bring us back.

The rebellious, however, refuse both love and justice, preferring to blame God rather than acknowledge their guilt.

For us, this passage is a reminder to fight the good fight, to refuse to enter into the rebellion, and to defend ourselves against the attack of the enemy.

Relying on one’s own strength leads to sin.

In spiritual warfare, we need to turn to God in prayer for his blessing and his power to deliver us.

St. Paul speaks of this in his letter to the Ephesians:

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might.

Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.

For we are not contending against flesh and blood, but against the principalities, against the powers, against the world rulers of this present darkness, against the spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.

Therefore, take the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

Stand therefore, having girded your loins with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the equipment of the gospel of peace; above all taking the shield of faith, with which you can quench all the flaming darts of the evil one.

And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

Pray at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication.

To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints, and also for me, that utterance may be given me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains; that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak. (Ephesians 6:10-20)

Anyone who denies the reality of this warfare is seriously misguided.

We have to recognize that the devil is seeking to harm us, to tempt us, and to gain influence over our lives.

God has given us the weapons we need to defend ourselves.

Part of keeping watch is being aware of our weaknesses and the points of entry the devil uses to influence us.

How can we strengthen our armor and defense?

What do we need to avoid what may lead us into sin?

Do we need to avoid bad company?

Are technology and media usage a problem?

Avoiding the occasions of sin helps us to live justly in relation to God and others and to be rightly ordered in ourselves.

Just are you in these your judgments, you who are and were, O Holy One.

Let us pray.

Lord, you are all just and all loving. Help us to receive your mercy and to live within it. Amen.

Saint Michael the archangel, pray for us.

In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

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