A stranger stood before the Cathedral of Notre Dame in Paris, admiring its uplifting architecture and its beautiful statuary. A Parisian approached with this odd question: “Do you notice anything amusing up there?”

“Why no,” answered the tourist, “it is inspiring.” “Look closely at those figures,” directed the newcomer, pointing to a group that represented a soul being weighed in the scales of justice. “Notice the angel standing on one side and Satan on the other. The devil gives the appearance of wanting fair play and honest justice, doesn’t he?”

“Yes,” admitted the traveler, “but I don’t see anything funny about that.” “Take a closer look,” suggested the Parisian. “Look under the scales.” Sure enough, under the scale on the side of Satan was a little demon pulling the scale down.

That’s how the devil works. If we decide to give up a certain vice or evil habit, or if we decide to follow Christ more closely, Satan seems to step aside and admit his defeat. But it’s only a façade. In reality, he begins to work secretly from another angle.

This is why it is so important for us to always stay on our guard, spiritually speaking. Temptations can come to us at any time, even right after a spiritual victory, since the battle is always going on.

As St. Peter puts it in his First New Testament Letter :

“Be sober and vigilant. Your opponent the devil is prowling around like a roaring lion looking for (someone) to devour.”

1 Peter 5:8

That is why Jesus used his Divine authority to cast out the devil as described in today’s Gospel

Submitted by Fr. Joseph Dovari