Scripture Reading: James 1:12-18
Thomas a’ Kempis says, “No man is so perfect and holy as not to have sometimes temptations; and we cannot be wholly without them.” But he also cautioned that, “Inconsistency of mind, and small confidence in God, is the beginning of all evil temptations.” Testing has been in every facet of life, though the methods may be different. Our attitudes and reactions to events of life matters a lot. And so the claims we have of holiness, integrity, honesty, faithfulness must be tested. Indeed, today, our Lord challenges us not to fall when we are tested. Human nature is very cunning; never let it have any consideration when you are taking a decision as to “be or not to be” in terms of integrity, more so in spiritual matters. Our human nature longs to be righteous but does not want its claim of righteousness to be tested. Our human nature likes to be adjudged honest and full of integrity without it being subjected to proof. We must try to learn from Jesus, because most times, Satan tries to capture us at our weak points. Satan often attacks us in those areas that he feels we will not be able to resist. Hence, St. Ambrose says, “The devil tempts that he may ruin, God tempts that He may crown.”
For us to stand always and not fall, we must be able, on our own, to personally analyze and criticize ourselves, we have to know what is capable of making us fall when we are tested, and then pray and prepare to counter such when it comes. Brethren, Shepherd of Hermes assures us thus: “The devil cannot lord it over those who are servants of God with their whole heart and who place their hope in Him. The devil can wrestle with, but not overcome them.”
What then are the areas where temptation and hard testing confronts you? Is it money? Crisis, oppression and lack of love are rife today in our churches, prayer groups and dioceses because of money. Is fame, sexual urges, or politics, areas of testing for you? Hence, Fenelon advises us thus: “To realize God’s presence is the one sovereign remedy against temptation.” St Paul says, “Avoid sins and all occasions of sin.” Secker, concludes this reflection thus: “To pray against temptations, and yet to rush into occasions, is to thrust your fingers into fire and then pray they might not be burnt.” Avoid all appearances and locations of evil.
MASS: VIOLET Deut 4:1. 5-9; Ps 147: 12-13. 15-16. 19-20 (R.12a); Accl. Jn 6:63c.68c; Mt 5: 17-19
Prayer Points:
1. Take this song meditatively: “I want to be like Jesus in my Heart”.
2. O Lord, put in me the consciousness of not failing always.
3. O Lord, help me to find joy and security only in You.
4. Pray meditatively, “Stay with Me” by Padre Pio.