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Evil flees passion: Is this part of your strategy?


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Fr. Luigi Maria Epicoco - published on 08/30/22

Evil by its nature drives us to mediocrity, compromise, and mere survival.

Today’s readings can be found here.

“They were astonished at his teaching, because he spoke with authority.” 

I think the annotation that Luke’s Gospel gives us should make us ask ourselves why Jesus’ teaching is considered authoritative. Perhaps the most succinct explanation should be this: Jesus believes what he says. Many times, by contrast, our words, our work, and our educational skills have no authority because we basically say and promote things of which we ourselves may not even be fully convinced.

From a secular point of view, we could say that speaking with authority means speaking while exuding passion. Even children can tell if their teacher teaches with passion or not, or whether their parents live their lives with passion or only focus on their problems.

Certainly, passion cannot be faked; either it’s there or it isn’t. And even evil cannot remain unaffected by it:

“In the synagogue there was a man with the spirit of an unclean demon, and he cried out in a loud voice, ‘What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are–the Holy One of God!’”

Those who live with passion always destroy evil, which by its nature drives us to mediocrity, compromise, and mere survival. Jesus silences an evil that behaves in this way, and arouses the fearful amazement of those who realize that living with this passion is like living constantly driving back evil and its logic:

“What is there about his word? For with authority and power he commands the unclean spirits, and they come out.”

Imagine someone who works like this, who speaks like this, and who lives his vocation like this. Passion in what we do is our first form of evangelization.


Father Luigi Maria Epicoco is a priest of the Aquila Diocese and teaches Philosophy at the Pontifical Lateran University and at the ISSR ‘Fides et ratio,’ Aquila. He dedicates himself to preaching, especially for the formation of laity and religious, giving conferences, retreats and days of recollection. He has authored numerous books and articles. Since 2021, he has served as the Ecclesiastical Assistant in the Vatican Dicastery for Communication and columnist for the Vatican’s daily newspaper L’Osservatore Romano.

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