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Get rid of evil from inside you, or it will finish by conquering you.
18th November 1972 - an unforgettable date for the players of two teams.
It was the NBA and the NEW YORK KNICKS (champions in 1970) were playing against the MILWAUKEE BUCKS (champions in 1971).
With only five minutes and fifty seconds to go, and the Bucks leading 86-68, the game seemed to be in their hands, but - in that remaining time, New York scored 19-0 and won the game 87-86! Incredible! The Bucks just didn't know how to finish off their opponents.
We often talk about the importance of playing until the final whistle. And now I refer not only to sport, but also to life itself.
In today's Bible reading, we see that several tribes of Israel conquered their lands, but didn't completely expel the enemies who remained among them.
Later, these minority groups rose up to defeat the the Israelites. I'm sure you already understand today's lesson. If you don't completely conquer your opponent, the game is lost. If we allow wrong to continue inside us, our life is lost.
We cannot allow ourselves even a moment of respite in our fight against evil. It is necessary to conquer right to the end.
But how do we do that? By not permitting anything evil to remain inside us. Remember: you cannot conquer an enemy if you live alongside him. Get rid of evil from inside you, or it will finish by conquering you.
And we must not tolerate anything in our life that is able to defeat us. We must not permit anything to live inside us that is contrary to the will of God.
Do you know what one of the most dangerous enemies is today? Read Matthew's gospel beginning with chapter five. The desire to have everything is the main sickness of our consumer society: it teaches you to want everything, whether you need it or not.
Test yourself and see if this enemy is inside you: take a small walk around your room and count the things that you have that are not indispensable. Back already? And what did I tell you would happen?
Our desires have even created illnesses. One of the most well-known is Stress and it is not a joke: it could take your life. An enemy living inside you.
The lust, the desire to have, have, have, have. A desire that never is satisfied.. Expel the enemy inside you! It could kill you!