Protecting our identity as children of God

| Father Troy Przybilla | February 26, 2020 | 0 Comments

Several years ago my car was broken into, and they stole a bag that contained all of my personal information.

I began the process of trying to remember everything I needed to do and everyone I needed to call in order to protect myself from even more problems.

If you have ever had this happen to you, you know how vulnerable it feels when someone steals your personal information.

There is a lingering fear that the thieves will also try to steal your identity.

Identity theft is a massive problem today. Companies make billions of dollars trying to help protect us from identity theft. In fact, I’m still paying a monthly payment for my protection.

Although we like to think it’s a modern problem, it’s nothing new. I once heard someone say that Satan is the author of identity theft.

In the Gospel we hear Satan tempting Jesus. We often focus on the three temptations, but underlying them all is a temptation against Jesus’ identity. Satan says, “If you are the Son of God …” (Mt 4:3, 6). He is trying to sow seeds of doubt into Jesus’ identity as the only beloved Son of the Father.

But Jesus is firmly rooted in his identity. Just before he went into the desert he was baptized and heard the Father say, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased” (Mt 5:17).

The Father says these same words — “You are my beloved, with whom I am well pleased” — to everyone who is baptized into his beloved Son.

In fact, our Heavenly Father continuously speaks these words to us.

St. John reminds us of this when he writes, “Beloved: See what love the Father has bestowed on us that we may be called the children of God. Yet so we are” (1 Jn 3:1).

Satan wants to steal this identity from us.

He does it in a way similar to how he did it with Jesus. He plants seeds of doubt.

We’ve all heard his sinister whispers:

“If you are a child of God, then why did he let that happen to you?”

“If you are a child of God, then why doesn’t he answer your prayers?”

“If you are a child of God, then why does he let the one you love suffer?”

We’ve all experienced these or similar temptations. It’s important to recognize them for what they are; attempts to steal our identity.

Satan does this because he knows that once he has stolen our identity as children of God, we are vulnerable to having a lot more stolen from us.

Therefore we need to protect our identity.

To do this, we don’t need expensive protection plans. All we need is the truth of our identity as children of God that we received through our baptism into Christ Jesus, who came to reconcile us to the Father and paid for it all by the price of his blood.

Father Przybilla is pastor of St. Charles Borromeo in St. Anthony.

Sunday, March 1
First Sunday of Lent

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Category: Sunday Scriptures