Deal Satan a Headshot

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The Old Testament often shows God the Father acting more like the Godfather—you know, the classic film series about the Corleone crime family. The head of this family doles out no-nonsense punishment to enemies. From this perspective, let’s take a fresh look at this Sunday’s classic scene from Genesis (Gn 3:9-15). Here, God the Father details for transgressors the consequences of breaking His laws. He starts with The Evil One himself, who stripped Adam and Eve of their innocence:

“Because you have done this, you shall be banned from all the animals and from all the wild creatures; on your belly shall you crawl, and dirt shall you eat all the days of your life.”

But humanity shares in Satan’s punishment. The serpent learns:

“I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will strike at your head, while you strike at his heel.”

As we learn in the Godfather series, headshots guarantee that enemies stay down. Satan’s heel-shots threaten to bring humanity down to our knees, but we are often given second and third chances to take better aim at this enemy’s head.

And like Vito Corleone in the first Godfather film, God’s Son lays out for his potential enemies what is forgivable and what is not. After a vendetta is carried out against one of Corleone’ssons, and payback has been doled out against his son’s killers, the Godfather calls for peace with his enemies. However, he warns:

I’m a superstitious man, and if some unlucky accident should befall him … then I’m going to blame some of the people in this room. And that, I do not forgive.”

Where the son of God is concerned—the one who came to strike evil a mortal headshot for us—we must be willing to rise above vengeance and leave that right to God the Father. WE must resist the temptation to try dealing a mortal blow to the Holy Spirit Christ introduced among us, as Jesus warns in Sunday’s gospel reading (Mk 3:20-35):

“Amen, I say to you, all sins and all blasphemies that people utter will be forgiven them. But whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will never have forgiveness, but is guilty of an everlasting sin.”

In the endings of each chapter of the Godfather series, we see both Vito Corleone and his son Michael suffer for their unforgivable sins of trying to hijack God’s powerful eternal spirit for the vanity of sustaining power on earth. Neither of them can escape as age slowly degrades their physical and mental faculties. And because they never mastered the Godly art of true forgiveness, they ultimately deal themselves mortal blows.

Millennia before Mario Puzo wrote The Godfather, Paul highlighted for the Corinthians the difference between the kind of same-old hopeless endings we choose for ourselves as illustrated in the Godfather saga, and the new and eternal hope-fulfilling beginning God the Father offers:

“Although our outer self is wasting away,” Paul writes, “our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this momentary light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to what is seen but to what is unseen; for what is seen is transitory, but what is unseen is eternal.”  (2Cor 4:13—5:1)

But what is unseen only remains that way as a consequence of our cover-ups and denials. Our earthly life is guaranteed a hope-filled sequel if we aim our heel at evil’s head and deal it a mortal blow—thus freeing the Holy Spirit within us for all to take in. It’s an offer we shouldn’t refuse.

–Tom Andel


  1. The most head shots of all time are in the John Wick series. Amazing finality to all his victims.

    The devil is always prowling about seeking to devour as pointed out by Saint Peter. In order to avoid his eternal head shot, we need to put on the armor of Christ and his helmet of salvation.

    It’s our only option!

    • Defense is essential, but experts at warfare teach that a good offense is the best defense. Jesus taught THEM that by his verbal warfare with Satan in the desert. The words of the gospels provide the hammer Satan fears most.

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