Monday, February 18, 2013
Friends of Faith:
It is so easy in today’s world to fall into a trap set by the devil. It seems no matter where we turn there is an excess: fast food, un-inhibitive drink, easy money, “stuff” and lustful sex: instant gratification.And by our human nature we all want to stop our suffering, “keep up with the Jones’,” and receive every need without too much effort on our part and without responsibility or consequence for our actions. We take little responsibility for what ails us, and we tend to blame others, and even God, for what we lack.
In yesterday’s gospel Christ was tempted 3 times while he walked in the dessert. The devil tempted him to use his power to stop his suffering.Then he led him to Jerusalem, made him stand on the parapet of the temple, and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down from here, for it is written: He will command his angels concerning you, to guard you, and: With their hands they will support you, lest you dash your foot against a stone.” Jesus said to him in reply, “It also says, You shall not put the Lord, your God, to the test.” When the devil had finished every temptation, he departed from him for a time. Lk 4: 1-13
So too, are we asked to use our “power,” (our pride)to rely on ourselves, to fall into the traps of the world, to take the easy way out, rather than depending on God to take care of us in our times of need.We don’t accept suffering well, and we think there must be some way to “work” ourselves out of whatever ailment that befalls us.
That is what temptation is: reliance on “our power” instead of God’s. Reliance on money and government programs to take care of us; trusting only in ourselves instead of praying to God for his blessings; and accepting our sufferings as His way of teaching us His power and as a way to more closely see His caring love for us.Heavenly Father: Be with me, Lord, when I am in trouble. No evil shall befall you, nor shall affliction come near your tent ,for to his angels he has given command about you, that they guard you in all your ways. Ps 91: 14-15 Amen.
Ponder this then today: What evil is tempting you today? What temptations are you falling to? Is your trust in God and in His people, or is your trust in a “manufactured” earthly power (the government) to take care of you? Is “pride” the obstacle that blinds you from recognizing God in your sufferings?May we all be blessed with the strength and courage to follow God and His heavenly powers as we walk in this earthly dessert of life,