VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Jesus does not need an army to fight evil in the world; he uses the victorious weapons of love and humility, Pope Francis said.
And Christians, likewise, should be known for bringing forth the light of Christ, not darkness, to fight the world’s demons, he said Sept. 3 during his morning Mass in the Domus Sanctae Marthae.
The pope recommenced his early morning Masses for Vatican employees and guests Sept. 2 after a two-month-long summer hiatus.
Sept. 3 he reflected on St. Paul’s words to the Thessalonians when the apostle said, “For all of you are children of the light” and not children “of the night or of darkness.”
But, there is a false light that shines in the world, too, the pope said, according to a report by Vatican Radio.
Many people think scientific discoveries or human ingenuity can provide the light needed to save the world, he said. This man-made light is bright, but it is blinding and artificial “like a firecracker or camera flash.”
“Instead, the light of Jesus is meek, it’s a tranquil light, a light of peace,” Pope Francis said.
Worse yet, the devil easily disguises himself as “an angel of light,” the pope said, tricking people with a quiet, soothing voice like he used with Jesus fasting in the desert. That’s why so many people can believe they’re living in God’s light and not realize they’re really living in darkness, he said.
How are people to tell whether it’s Jesus or the devil talking to them, the pope asked.
First, people need to pray to God for “the wisdom to discern” the difference, “to recognize when it is Jesus who’s giving us light and when it’s really the devil.”
Jesus’ light is “humble, it’s not imposing,” he said. It has “the strength of meekness,” speaks to the heart and offers the cross to follow.
If the light in people’s lives causes them to become proud, scornful and “look down on others,” then it’s “the light of the devil disguised as Jesus” guiding them, he said.
However, if the light makes people meek, humble and loving, and gives them courage before the cross, then it’s the light of Jesus shining in their lives.
While reflecting on the day’s Gospel reading from St. Luke when Jesus commands a demon to leave a possessed man, the pope said, “Jesus doesn’t need an army to chase away the demons, he doesn’t need arrogance, force or pride.” He rids the world of evil with his “humble, meek” and loving word.