Wednesday, April 25, 2007

"I am the good shepherd; and I know mine, and mine know me." (John 10: 14).

The Good Shepherd can recognize His sheep through Baptism and faithful keeping of Baptismal promises. During ceremony the priest asks specific questions: "Do you renounce Satan"? And the answer is: "I do!". And again: "Do you renounce all his pomps and works?" And again the answer is: "I do". We solemnly renounce Satan, his pomps, works and vanities. All that is separating us from God. There cannot be any agreement between God and the devil. And if we choose God and renounce Satan, then Our Lord rightly says: "No man can serve two masters.
" (Mt 6, 24). Whenever Satan tempts us we must reject him with words and mind of Christ: "Begone, Satan: for it is written, The Lord thy God shalt thou adore, and him only shalt thou serve" (Matt 4:10). We renounced all perverse and delusive delights, honours and riches, all ridiculously expensive, fashionable clothes, food, jewelry. All these cannot fit with the imitation of Christ who: "hath not where to lay his head" (Matt 8:20). Through Baptism we renounce the world and its ruler, we renounce sin, in particular the mortal one, for: "he that committeth sin is of the devil: for the devil sinneth from the beginning" (1 John 3:8). The main and most malicious of Satan sins were pride, envy and lie. How do we keep our Baptismal promises then? After we do our own careful examination of conscience let us keep in mind the Apostle's helpful advice: "Be subject therefore to God, but resist the devil, and he will fly from you. " (James 4:7)