Electronic Prayer Book

Third Sunday in Lent


By the finger of God and the power of the Holy Spirit,
Jesus casts out from the speechless man the devil which possessed him.

The Mass of this Sunday shows us Jesus at grips with Satan; He overcomes him and drives him from the body of one possessed (Gospel). From the beginning of His ministry Jesus was pitted against Satan; at the time of His passion He entered on the final combat but victory was assured to Him: “…..for the ruler of the world is coming. He has no power over me.” Our Lord Himself summed up His whole work as the definitive victory over Satan: “Now shall the prince of this world be cast out. And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all things to Myself.”

Thus our Lord’s whole mission is set before us as a struggle with, and a victory over, Satan. During Lent the Church could not fail to emphasise this. At the outset, on the 1st Sunday, she appointed for the Gospel the account of the temptation in the desert and we have already seen Satan significance. Today, cast out from the body of one possessed, finds that he has lost all the kingdom that he had seized.

The struggle against Satan goes on in our lives as baptized members of the Church. Humanity, so long as it knew not Christ, was deaf and dumb and the devil’s prey; but once open to the light of our Saviour it can fix its gaze on Him, and strong in His grace, begins on new ways, far from the darkness of sin.