Today’s homily is for 6th Sunday of Easter, May 9, 2021, and the readings can be found by clicking here. The video can be viewed by clicking here soon.
I sometimes hear that the opposite of God is the Devil. I also sometimes hear that when we die we get beautiful angel wings–we become angels in heaven. I want to take just a moment to clear things up a bit. First of all, the Church teaches that God is the Creator of all things, heaven and earth, spiritual beings and human beings. So there are these three types of beings, Divine beings (That’s God), spiritual beings (that’s angels and demons), and human beings (that’s saints and sinners).
St. Augustine said of angels, “Spirit is what they are, angel is what they do.” With their whole being the angels are servants and messengers of God. As purely spiritual creatures angels have intelligence and will: they are personal and immortal creatures.” (CCC 329-330) Angels are pure spirits, created by God to do his will. We, on the other hand, are body and soul. A unity of mortal flesh and an immortal soul. According to the Catechism, “The human person, created in the image of God, is a being at once corporeal and spiritual.” (362) Also created by God to do his will.
So, first of all, God is the creator and has no opposite. The devil is not the opposite of God, the devil is a creature, created by God, but who refused to love God and God’s creation. If you want the opposite of the devil, as I said, it is not God, but maybe Michael the archangel, or Gabriel, or one of the other angels in heaven. I hate to hear that maybe the devil is winning, as though he could. He cannot. To be aligned with the devil is and has always been a losing game. Never follow a loser. Satan rejected God, rejected love, and fell from God’s grace. He and the other spirits like him, called demons, are opposed to God, opposed to love, and opposed to God’s kingdom on earth and in heaven. They did not win. They cannot win. And they never ever will win. Period.
So far we know that God is One and there is no other. Through Isaiah, the prophet, we hear, “I am the LORD, there is no other, there is no God besides me.”(45:5) And we know that God created pure spirits–who possess no body at all. Never have, never will. Those that follow God’s laws, obey him, and do his will are called Angels. Those that oppose him and his will are called demons. And we know that God created human beings, in his own image he created them body and soul. Those that follow God’s laws, obey him and do his will are called Saints. Those that oppose him and his will are called sinners. Human beings who die and whose soul goes to heaven are saints–not angels. Sorry to say, no wings–wings are for angels, not saints.
And all of that brings us to today’s Gospel where Jesus says to his disciples, “As the father loves me, so I love you. If you keep my commandments, you will remain in my love…this is my commandment: love one another as I love you.” There is but a single difference between light and darkness, heaven and hell, angels and demons, saints and sinners–one is a place of love and a people that love, and the other is not. And each of us must decide which side we are one. As St. John said, “Whoever is without love does not know God, for God is love.”
My brothers and sisters we live in a world that wants to argue that there is no right or wrong, nothing is black or white, it’s all debatable–don’t you be fooled. There is right and wrong. There is light and darkness. There is good and evil. There are thoughts, words, and deeds that are consistent with God’s will and God’s command to love, and there are thoughts, words, and deeds that do violence to God’s law and God’s Kingdom. We must choose a side: Life, Light and Love, or Death, Darkness, and Division–our eternal soul depends upon it. A failure to choose and act in love is a choice against God.
St. Augustine said, “Love alone distinguishes between the children of God and the children of the Devil. They may all sign themselves with the sign of the cross of Christ; they may all respond “Amen” to prayers and sing “Alleluia”; they may all be baptized, and come to church, and even build the church themselves. But we can discern the children of God from the children of the Devil by their love alone.” Choose love; with every word, with every action; choose God.