The word “Devil” is a word that is often used today in many contexts to mean different things.
It’s derived from the Greek word diabolos, meaning, “the separator” or “the accuser”. Thediabolos, therefore, is the one who separates, causes disunity, division, animosity and hatred. Since God is love, and all who love and live in unity and right relationship live in God, the separator then is one who extinguishes the fire of God’s love and unity in the world.
In the second reading of today (Phil 2:1 - 11), Paul warns the Philippians against the influence of the diabolos and launches his heartfelt appeal for unity: “Be united in your convictions and united in your love.... There must be no competition among you, no conceit; but everyone is to be self - effacing..... In your minds you must be the same as Christ Jesus.” This exhortation of Paul is no less important today than it was for the Philippians. As the twenty - first century disciples of Jesus, we are encouraged to say “no” to what ever leads to division and hatred. In other terms, we are encouraged to be alert to the Diabolos, who “prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour” (1 Pet. 5:8). As a Parish, let’s stand up to the diabolos, strong in faith, saying “no” to division, and “yes” to whatever brings love, peace and mutual up building.
This weekend we welcome back the Dean, Fr David Pascoe, who has been on holiday for few weeks. May he be imbued with more wisdom and strength to lead us all, as a Parish, onto the path that leads to peace, unity and love. Every blessing upon you all.
Fr Anthony Ekpo