A quick word of thanks for your patience, as the Blog has been down for three days. We got hacked in a bad way. Terrible malicious software brought the whole server down. Every thing had to be cleansed and copied to a new server. We are back on Firefox, Safari and Explorer but Google Chrome is still mad at us. Hopefully they too will be back on line after we prove we’ve been cleansed by the Blood of the Lamb, and also by IT experts!

It is impossible for us to know why we were attacked, it may be something that was said or posted here or it may just be that it was “our turn.” Either way, Satan has been busy and he and his minions will answer to God someday for things far more serious than this, but not to exclude things like this.

And that leads me to today’s commentary on a Mercedes Benz commercial. In the video below Satan appears with promises to the whole world and all its pleasures if the man in the video will just sign on the dotted line. Not only will the man get a free Mercedes Benz but he will also get all the things that are supposed to go with a Benz: beautiful women, caviar, luxurious receptions, fancy homes, access, victory, popularity, you name it. “It’s all yours! Just sign here!” says Satan.

But the man considers the price of a Mercedes without the devil as a partner versus everything with the Devil as a partner. Do not miss the meaning of the name “Mercedes” which means mercy, and Benz which is a name meaning “brave”. Mercy is worth more than anything else, no matter how pleasurable in passing. For the mercy of the Lord endures forever, while the trinkets of the devil are but for a time. You might say, in financial terms, mercy has positive leverage while the Devil’s payouts have diminishing returns. If the Devil gives you a payout, you’ll watch it diminish with each passing day. But God’s grace and mercy grow to yield an abundant harvest. There may be the payout of the cross and deferred pleasure, but wait till you say the harvest. Thus once must bravely (“benz”) reach out for Mercy (“mercedes”).

Thus, in the commercial the man considers all Satan’s trinkets against the glories of mercy and he chooses mercy. He know the cost, but considers it acceptable if he can but have mercy for himself, without the Devil as a partner. How about you?

A final detail worth noting in the commercial: At the bottom of the proposed contract held out by Satan is a backward Chi Rho (The Greek abbreviation for “Christ”) and the Latin Inscription Sigilla posuere magister diabolus et daemones (Master seal of the Devil and demons. The backward initials recalls an image of the anti-Christ. And the Latin is more literally means “A seal to set the Devil and demons (as) Master.”

In the end that is the choice. You will have the master your choose. And of this the Lord reminds we must choose one and only one:

No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money. (Matt 6:24)

Whose coins are in your pocket and whose seal is on them? The choice is yours. You are free to choose, but you are not free NOT to choose. You can have it all now, or store it up bravely for later:

Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also (Matt 6:19-21)

Why not be Benz (brave) and choose Mercedes (mercy)?

In the end the Scripture is fulfilled for the man which says, Resist the Devil and he will flee (James 4:2)

Here’s the Commercial:

25 Responses

  1. Mark says:

    Msgr. Pope,
    As one who works in the IT field I realized right away that you had been hacked and believe this type of attack is just the first of more to come to the voices of truth. As long as the light of our Savior Jesus Christ shines the darkness will be in fear of the truth, the light and the way.

    As far as Google Chrome goes they can be apart of the problem as they do not discern many security protocols, like the protocols that Firefox and Safari put into place, that is why I tell people to use those browsers and no other.

    As you may know all browsers are obliged under law to track you movements on the internet, yet Firefox and Safari give the user the security to disallow web pages not to have the ability to track your browsing history. Google and explorer do not allow the user to put such securities into place, as they get revenue from web pages so they can track your history and send you advertisements for their products. I am also as a former military intelligence person, and I am always weary of internet companies that have former administration personnel on their company board as this can be, in my humble opinion, a conflict of interest. I also do not shop at stores that track my purchases because I like to buy sweets from time to time and I do not want my doctor to know.

    As the Lenten season begins this year we are fortunate to have two gifts given to us, the gift of eternal life and the voice of truth.
    His voice will never be silenced and as long as you speak the truth we will be listening.

    God Bless you
    Mark from the 49th parallel

  2. Donna says:

    My 11 year old son just said, “I love that commercial! Let me watch!” Funny!
    So glad you’re back, Monsignor Pope! Of course your blog was attacked!! You dispense heavy doses of spiritual medicine each day!

    And I thoroughly enjoyed your post for Ash Wednesday. Lord, teach us to number our days!

  3. lyndon a. acosta says:

    Google is such an anti-religious company that I’ve experienced that my google being downed many times because most of my websites that I subscribe are catholic websites.I can’t download from these catholic websites. And facebook also I can’t upload this very good Mercedes commercial.At a time when there are many earthquakes big and small accompanied many astronomical phenomenon like this meteor shower which hurt a thousand in russia.We maybe near to end times. The catholic persecution has begun and will intensify with passage of same-sex marriage.But fight on and don’t get weary because God has won the fight already. It’s now our turn to prove our love and our faith to God.

  4. Agapatos says:

    I like your general point, but nevertheless according to Cassell’s Latin dictionary, “mercedes” means (2) hires, pays, wages, fees, salaries, or (2) interests, rents, incomes. It also comes from the word “merx,” which means “merchandise, goods, wares.” Perhaps the idea of a growing “investment” (or ‘meritourious reward’) is in that word, but I don’t really see “mercy.” (Sorry to be a nit-picker.)

  5. Frank says:

    Regarding the website being hacked, I’m sure your IT department has already looked into this but check out the WordPress plugin called WordFence for some additional security. Also, make sure your WordPress install is being updated regularly.

    http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/wordfence/

  6. Dismas says:

    Amongst the signs and wonders of an absolutely extraordinary week, I have to admit a certain joy which the absence of this blog also seems to help mark. In good company I would think, and glad your back.

  7. David Naas says:

    OTOH, maybe the commercial is saying, “Who needs the Devil if you’ve got the world under control?” — The obvious implication being that if the World is Enough, “Who needs God either?”

  8. esiul says:

    Dear Msgr. Pope,
    Haven’t been inspired lately, to write because it’s late at night when I read your posts and my brain does not come out with much of anything. I figured something happened to your site since there were no posts on
    the Holy Father’s resignation. This Mercedes commercial is really good. Wish it could be seen by
    the many young people.

  9. Tia Washington-Davis says:

    Happy to see that you’re back. Peace and abundant blessings to you and your parish during this Lenten season.

  10. Don Johnston says:

    I believe this email speaks highly of temptation more than anything else. In the beginning of the commercial, the price for the car isn’t yet revealed. When Satan offers the free car along with all that goes along with it, (including hanging with Kate Upton and Usher) the man is contemplating signing the contract. It’s not until the price is revealed (low by Mercedes standards) that he refuses to partner up with the devil taking on the cost of the car himself. I guess the message is, humans are willing to sell their sole to the devil depending on the reward being offered, or the sacrifice to be made. Satan is a great negotiator, but in this case I suppose, Mercedes was better.

    I think it’s a fascinating commercial and the lesson to be taken out of it is terrific. My only question is why, or how, Mercedes ever let this commercial become a reality. I find it highly controversial.

  11. Cynthia says:

    We laughed and laughed at this commercial because it’s so clever. It was very nice to see Satan foiled again, even in a completely secular commercial. It only goes to show that the world isn’t a far from religious understanding as it would like to think it is.

    Your take on the underlying meanings is very interesting. I immediately recognized your use of Mercedes. Not every church reference comes from Latin!

  12. RichardC says:

    Welcome back. I use google chrome, not knowing any better, and google chrome is allowing me to see this webpage again.

  13. Elizabeth says:

    The setting is the historic Napoleon House in my hometown of New Orleans; much meaning there as well. Although I can promise there’s not a billboard in site. Implied Divine intervention, perhaps?

  14. Brad Miner says:

    Wish I’d read this before the Super Bowl. I drive an MB, and the teaser ads leading up to the premiere of the commercial on Super Sunday suggested a new Mercedes that had the mechanical equivalent of demonic power. Seeing the final ad, I was relieved that the car buyer rejects Satan, but I wondered what he’d have done if the Devil’s contract had included a deep discount on the price.

  15. Jeannie says:

    You were missed, Monsignor! Ty for your perseverance, God-inspired, no doubt. May He have misericordia on attackers of the good in all of us because we are an unrelenting lot who are encouraged by their actions which announce, loudly and clearly, that we’re going in the right direction, right? You betcha. Enjoy your weekend. Yes, you remain in our prayers!

  16. Hegelian Dialectic says:

    Metrosexuals and satan sell product. Is there anything new under the sun/son/hal?
    Let us try to be honest. You can’t spin this commercial to mean anything other than what it means. If the price hadn’t been just right, instead of saying, “Thanks anyway, but I’ve got this.” I guess the metrosexual might have said, “How soon can I expect delivery after signing?”
    All the real men are being neutered and all the women are being re-made into men.

    • Well…. I can play can’t I?? As Joseph told his brothers, “You meant it for ill, but God meant it for good.” Why not see Jesus even in the distortions of Madison Ave? Talk about heaping burning coals on their heads! Or perhaps is is Balaam all over again, they try to curse but a blessing comes out instead! Be cool Hegel and hear Jesus no matter what they say. Are you praying with me, or are you just cursing the darkness. Find Christ, even at the Cross!

  17. Julianne Wiley says:

    Because of my hearing disability, I was unable to make out the suave one-liner by which our Young Hero calls off the deal. What did he say?

  18. Morrie says:

    Julianne, the line is “Thanks , but I think I got this”. Hegel, the guy is wearing a members only type jacket. Hardly metrosexual.

  19. Fr Levi says:

    Welcome back, Monsignor … the joys of the web!

    Did you look at the ‘extended cut’ of the ad? In it, we see the rings on the devil’s right hand, one of which is Masonic! I can’t quite make out the other one … pity, as I’m sure there’s a sly reference of some sort there too!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oPNr0_6MnDo

  20. Jay Everett says:

    Satan lives and is alive and doing well in this world. You only have to watch (but not to often) the evening or morning news and you see the Devil at work. His number one weapon is greed and his number two weapon is idolatry, you know like movie stars and sports figures and song people (especially rock and rap). Are you one of these people who just can’t get enough of the pleasures offered by Satan? It, like other things, are simple addictions (drugs alcohol sex) which find their way into your computer (BRAIN) programing and stay there until you push the “DELETE” button. Remember you are not your brain. God gave you the brain as your own personal computer to use as you will. But, like most computers it gives back what you put into it. It’s your choice, go with the Devil today and live with him in eternity, or do not be fooled by his illusions and live with Jesus in eternity…..

  21. David M Paggi says:

    Msgr Pope:

    Thanks for your outstanding work. You must be doing something right to have attracted such adversity; perhaps you should ask St Jean-Marie Vianney to be the patron of your site, as he certainly had relevant experience!

    Besides the cost, frustration, time & effort, I’m sure it has been a real trial to deal with. Hacking, viruses, malware, and so forth are all forms of electronic vandalism. Like the sin of envy; there is no real benefit to the perpetrator; only the gratification of a very disordered psyche which is further damaged by being fed in this way. Moreover, it was an act of the worst sort of cowardice, as obviously whoever did this was unwilling to challenge you on your ground but instead chose this scurrilous method to hinder, however briefly, this part of your ministry.

    It is doubly foolish beacuse inevitably you, the victim, will respond with greater determination than ever. “The more they afflicted them, the more they multiplied & grew”.

    When I saw the commercial I really bit on the “hook”; I was sure that the fellow would succumb. I was surprised and pleased with the outcome, as it was quite effective in dramatizing a good message we should all take to heart. Note also the characters who have so obviously given themselves over to evil. Romans 1 paints a very severe picture of these poor souls.

    Welcome back, and thanks again for all your efforts!

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