Martyrdom of St. Denis by Leon Bonnat

Today’s readings demonstrate once again the resistance Jesus faced in his public ministry, even accusation that it was by the power of the Evil One that he himself cast out demons. On this Feast of St. Denis, First Bishop of Paris and Martyr, we also recall the resistance the saints experienced because of their fidelity to Jesus.

Jesus reminds us that when the ‘strong man’ guards his house, all is safe and secure. But when one stronger than he comes, he will overtake him. He is telling us that he is the Strong Man who has conquered Satan, and that when he is master of our house, we cannot be defeated. St. Paul in the first reading also speaks to the importance of keeping faith in Jesus.

St. Catherine used the gate of walled cities of her time as an image for the gate of the soul. She rightly taught that the demon can make all kinds of noise and threats but cannot open the gate. The gate can only be opened from the inside, by our human freedom. As long as we hold firm in our faith in Jesus Christ, we can weather any storm of temptation.

Christ has taken up his dwelling within us. Remain strong in faith, and the strength of Christ will provide for all our need!


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