Lead Us Not Into Temptation!

Temptations are part of our human existence. When we say the Lord’s Prayer, we ask the heavenly Father to “lead us not into temptation.” This does not mean that God is the cause of temptations. The Apostle St. James pointed that out: “No one experiencing temptation should say, ‘I am being tempted by God’; for God is not subject to temptation to evil, and He himself tempts no one.” (cf. Jas 1: 13)

Rather, temptation comes from the evil one. Temptations and trials also purify our intentions, as when gold is tried in the fire. They are an effective test of our loyalty and commitment to God. And finally, they also strengthen us in the practice of Christian virtues – such as humility, prudence, prayer, patience, purity of heart and charity. Indeed, when we overcome them, we benefit tremendously. St. James said, “Blessed is the man who perseveres in temptation, for when he has been proved he will receive the crown of life that He promised to those who love Him.” (cf. Jas 1: 12) Nevertheless, we should not look for temptations. There is no need to do that, for they will inevitably come and find us, especially in our weakest and unguarded moments. In fact, unnecessarily exposing ourselves to temptations and occasions of sin is already sinful. It is, therefore, important to know what these temptations are so that we can be ready to deal with them properly. In the Gospel, the devil used three temptations. The first temptation warns us against materialism and selfishness. There is nothing wrong with changing stones into bread. Jesus also multiplied bread during his ministry. But he did it not for any selfish motivation or materialistic consideration, for “man does not live on bread alone but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.” He did not succumb to the temptation to use his divine powers to address a personal problem or to avoid difficulties and hard work. I had a priest friend who was caught with a traffic violation. Wanting to get out of his predicament quickly, he informed the officer that he is a priest. Instead of hearing words of apology, he heard the officer’s words of disappointment, “Ay naku! Pari ka pa naman!” We have just begun the season of Lent. It commemorates the forty days that Jesus fasted and prayed in the desert. The Preface on this first Sunday captures the meaning of this season: “His fast of forty days makes this a holy season of self-denial. By rejecting the devil’s temptations, he has taught us to rid ourselves of the hidden corruption of evil, and so to share his paschal meal in purity of heart, until we come to its fulfilment in the Promised Land of heaven.”

Sunday Mass Schedule Effective March 2011

6:30am - Filipino
8:00am - English
9:30am - English
11:00am - English

12:15n.n - English

3:30pm - Filipino
5:00pm - English
6:30pm - English
8:00pm - English

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