Wednesday in the Seventh Week of Easter

Scripture Readings: Acts 20:28-38; Jn 17:11b-19                                  

“Keep them from the Evil One.” In a 1950’s movie titled “The Bad Seed” an eight year old girl named Rhoda, who was born without a conscience, repeatedly commits murder to get her own way. The movie portrays her in Freudian terms as an evil, self-centered girl without a superego to guide her, a mistake of nature who couldn’t discern right from wrong. This evil oneis eliminated when Rhoda walks to the end of a pier and is killed by a lightning bolt from heaven. But can we call someone evil who doesn’t know better?

Jesus calls Satan “The Evil One.”Created as an angel of light, shining more beautifully and brilliantly than all other angels, Lucifer did know right from wrong, and chose evil rather than good. The prophet Isaiah describes Lucifer as the “Day Star cut down to the ground”(Is 14:12).   This rebellious, murderous angel was a “Good Seed”but became “The Evil One”by a free, deliberate and stubborn choice. There’s no goodness in one who stubbornly despises mercy and murders souls. So, Jesus prays for us, “Keep them from the Evil One.” And we make his prayer our own when we respond, “Deliver us from evil.”

Our deliverance begins with Baptism, Confirmation and the Eucharist which fill our souls with the Holy Spirit, leaving no room for “The Evil One.”And our deliverance will be complete when we are taken up to the kingdom of heaven where “The Evil One”can never enter or tempt us again. Then our joy will be complete!



Wednesday in the Seventh Week of Easter

[Scripture Readings: Acts 20:28-38; Jn 17:1-19 ]

“Jesus prayed, 'Holy Father, may they be one as we are one … keep them from the Evil One.” Jesus not only prays for us, he teaches us how to pray by his example. He frequently gave thanks, he often prayed for guidance, and he prayed for others, like Peter. In today's gospel we hear Jesus praying for us, as we should do for one another.

the Miraculous Medal
But how can our prayers for others do any good? Can our intercessions really change God's will? God knows what we need, and cares for us even before we ask him.

It's true, we don't change God's will by our intercessions. Rather, we fulfill his will by such prayers. For it's God's will to give us many good things because we pray for them. Jesus said, “Ask and you will received.” When we do not ask, we fail to do God's will. Our prayers do not change his will but fulfill it. That's why our prayers, and the prayers of the saints for us, are so necessary and powerful.

When Mary appeared to St. Catherine Laboure in 1830, she asked that a medal be cast, showing rays of light streaming from precious stones on her fingers to people on earth. When Catherine asked why no rays of light came from some of the precious stones on her fingers, Mary replied, “These are graces for which I am not asked.” 1

So, let us keep asking, seeking and knocking because, “… this is the will of God for us in Christ Jesus” (1 Thess. 5:16-18).