In the first reading, St. Paul tells the elders of the community at Ephesus to protect the flock and be on guard for themselves. Who are the enemies of the Church? Who are the wolves in our generation that seek to destroy the Christian community? These would be the people who preach immorality, selfishness, materialism, greed, and godlessness. These false prophets have poisoned many people’s minds and desired to infect Christians with their venom. We all have to be on guard against them. When we waver in the face of temptation, we should ask for help from our Christian brothers who can pray for and counsel us. Sometimes our faith is not enough. We need to have the faith of the Church, of a body of Christians who resolutely resist evil through the power of grace, the power of the Holy Spirit. We must also be wary in case the enemy is in our ranks, and fight him off using the weapons of God – purity, sincerity, courage, faith and zeal to announce the gospel. Through prayer, we can also stop the attacks of the devil because prayer strengthens our faith.
In the gospel, Jesus himself prays for his disciples and asks God the Father to protect them. The Father and Jesus will protect those who invoke their name. So let us not be afraid of the enemy. Let us consecrate ourselves to the truth which is God. Every morning we must pray to God to protect us from evil and to preserve the Christian community. We belong to a body, so we do not fight alone; we have brothers and sisters entering into battle every day against the devil, against evil.