10th. Sunday in Ordinary Time Year B

St. Ignatius of Loyola was a Spanish Basque Catholic priest and theologian, who, with six companions, founded the religious order of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits), -which is the second largest religious order in the Catholic Church after the Franciscans – and became its first Superior General, in Paris in 1541. St. Ignatius envisioned the purpose of the Society of Jesus to be missionary work and teaching. In addition to the vows of chastity, obedience and poverty like other religious orders in the church, St. Ignatius instituted a fourth vow for Jesuits of obedience to the Pope. Jesuits were instrumental in leading the Counter-Reformation in the Catholic Church. As a former soldier, Ignatius paid particular attention to the spiritual formation of his followers and recorded his method in the Spiritual Exercises (1548). He was beatified in 1609 and was canonized as a saint on 12 March 1622. His feast day is celebrated on 31 July. Before his conversion Ignatius was a soldier and at that time Princes and Kings all over Europe were fighting wars; mounting sieges, burning villages and castles and people had to make a choice.  Which side would they support.  There were two flags and they had to choose one.  After his conversion, St. Ignatius conceived spiirtual life as a battle  between two forces,  good and evil,  Jesus and sin.  We must make a choice we cannot remain neutral.  We can choose Satan who offers us a life of ease, a life of success,  or we can choose Jesus, his way is the way of the cross but it is a way to true happiness. Which flag will I choose? In today’s gospel, Jesus is accused of being possessed by Satan,  this will happen several times in his life,  and it reminds us that our spiritual life is a battle,  not a game. In the first reading of our mass, we see God confronting Adam and Eve for the choice they made, they had eaten of the forbidden fruit and now they must face the consequences.  This story reminds us that sin has consequences. When we disobey God, it affects our lives. But God’s promise of redemption is always there. He never leaves us without hope. In the second reading St. Paul speaks about faith during difficult times, he encourages believers to stay strong, despite the hardships they face, they look forward to eternal life. This passge encourges to keep a strong faith, no matter what challenges we face, we trust in God’s promises. Jesus faced many challenges during His ministry. His own family did not understand Him. Religious leaders opposed Him. Despite this, Jesus stayed focused on His mission. We, too, may face opposition in our lives. People may not understand our faith. They might challenge us. But like Jesus, we must remain committed to God’s will. Let us ask ourselves are there moments when I try to remain neutral? Am I afrad to take Jesus’s side?  If this is the case, let us ask Jesus for the grace to stand by him, always.