armor 2 - smallWritten by: Fr. Michael Simoes

In American Football the line of scrimmage and the amount of downs plays an important role in the strategy of the coach and the quarterback. Whether to pass or to run the ball, or even if they should punt the ball or go for a field goal, all depends on where the line of scrimmage is and how many downs are left. The offense is trying to move that line forward, yard by yard and the defense is trying to push that line backwards, yard by yard. There is a famous quote in the game of football, “Defense wins Championships.” In fact, that quote can pretty much apply to any sport as a good defense can spark the offense and win games.

I am going to go out on a limb here and say that our spiritual life and the salvation of souls also should have the same mentality. I was away and unable to catch all of the World Youth Day events and homilies by His Holiness Pope Francis but the line that everyone is throwing out these days in their blogs and social media feeds is, “Go, and make a mess”. Does this mean that me going out on a limb and saying that “Defense” is in tension with this statement? Absolutely there is tension. However, this tension can be resolved if we realize who is our defense and who is going to go out and make a mess. If you think it’s you and me, you are greatly mistaken. God is our defense, He is our refuge and our hope. And it is in, through, with and for God that the work of evangelization will be done. We have to be on His team and allow Him to set and execute the plays so that we can push back the enemy and score the winning goal. The only way we can be on His team and execute the plays is if we know Him, walk with Him, learn from Him and be transformed by Him.

In 2008, Pope Emeritus Benedict’s second World Youth Day was themed “The Holy Spirit will come upon you and you will be my witnesses.” We have to receive the gift of the Holy Spirit, the love of the Father and the Son, that God is offering us and then be transformed by that gift. Only then can we go and make a mess in the world.  And it is in that mess that we create that God will find souls and rescue them as He has always done and will continue to do until He comes again.


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