The question that Saint Paul asks at the beginning of today’s first reading is one that we’ve all heard countless times: “If God is for us, who can be against us?” We might even be tempted to pass by that question and move on to something else in today’s Liturgy of the Word, but I don’t think that’s wise. Because it’s an important question, and one that confronts us all, in some way, time and time again.
We might go through a rough patch in our lives: loss of a job, death of a loved one, a severe and trying illness, damage to a marriage or strain in any relationship. These are the issues that try our souls and sorely test our faith. We might even at times be tempted to give in to despair and lose our focus in such a way that it affects our health and well-being. But we believers dare not do so, because God is for us.
We might hear news that is difficult to absorb. Our society may be in a sad state of affairs; the political climate may be divisive and disheartening; we may be fatigued or even alarmed by the rise of terrorism and the proliferation of war; morality of our communities may be far off-base and all of this might cause us to question what is going on. We might be tempted to throw up our hands and lose all hope. But we believers dare not do so, because God is for us.
There is someone, certainly, who is against us, and that one is Satan, and yes he and his threat are real. Even the celebration of this Halloween day might make us shake our heads. But Saint Paul reminds us that even Satan cannot ultimately take us down, because God is for us. Saint Paul quite rightly insists that “Neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor present things, nor future things, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
That is the same consolation that comes from devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus or the Divine Mercy. It is the consolation for which we gather this morning at the Table of the Lord. It is the consolation that takes on every threat we encounter this day or ever in our lives: nothing and no one can separate us from God’s love. Nothing.