Third Sunday in Lent
Today we see our Lord in open conflict with Satan, whom He overthrows, disarms, and drives out of a demoniac. This is our Lord’s own explanation which he gave in the form of a parable (Gospel). Satan thought himself secure in his kingdom like the strong man armed guarding the approach to his castle, but the Son of God, stronger than the fallen angel, had come to snatch his unjust conquest from him, and so has acquired us for Himself.
During Lent, which is a time when the struggle against the old man is more intense, we should “live as children of the light, performing actions good, just, and true” (Epistle).
St. Paul is warning us today against sins of the flesh in thought, in word, and in deed. He is warning us not to make anything else our god but God alone. He explains, and he threatens, and in the end he encourages us to give thanks. That’s interesting. Why give thanks as a protection against these sins? Because gratitude requires humility, and humility opens us up to the love of God. Little Thérèse says, “It is the spirit of gratitude which draws down upon us the overflow of God’s grace, for no sooner have we thanked Him for one blessing than he hastens to send us ten additional favors in return.”