BEADS OF JOY 2-26-12 “Unnerving Test of Our Faith”
©2012 James Dacey, Jr. OFS
First Sunday of Lenten Season - Time B
Welcome to the First Sunday in Lent. Today our Lord is tempted when He is weakest; yet in His weakness He finds strength in God and in God's word. And we think we have it hard today don't we. We think everything in our world don't work the way we want it to, when we want it to, immediately without patience or understanding. I know I am not speaking to everyone. But I know I will say this; I have been there, in the face of challenges that made me want to "eat the loaf, pat my own back and jump off a cliff". My friends, we all face the grit of this life; maybe you’re on the end of a rough period of time, or maybe something unexpected just hit you in the face this week. We are all human beings; we have all been there at some point. How and what we do with these experiences tells us who we are. Do we trust in God, in everything? Do we boldly go where no satan has ever gone before? See how I said that, did you get it. I am speaking about straight into the arms of God.
Satan had the nerve to tempt our Lord, and to do it three times, from three different angles. He thought by going after the frailness of His human needs that Jesus the Christ, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords; was going to collapse and fall into his trap. He even used God's word to show Jesus that it's OK. How easily do we give in? Are we weakened by the beauty of what is shown to us? or Are we bold in knowing that Jesus will protect us from anything satan attempts to do to us? We must never surrender to anything that will ultimately send us into the abyss of hell for all eternity. God knows what we can handle and He will not allow anything to go beyond what we can fend off. "No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it.” 1 Corinthians 10:13
Remember that Jesus endured three temptations; the devil can be very articulate in his approach as he uses reason to deceive us in our walk with Jesus. He will present logic and an understanding of things that he wants us to understand, so that our thinking becomes likes his. In his deceit and disingenuous approach on us; he changes his appearance so that we believe he is something other than who he really is. "And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. It is not surprising, then, if his servants masquerade as servants of righteousness. Their end will be what their actions deserve." 2 Corinthians 11:14-15. Satan waits for and knows when he sees the op-tune time to make his attack. His appeal to us is usually when we are down and out. This is why it is so important that we keep our heads and stay focused on Jesus. Satan saw our Lord's physical need for water, and thought that would be the perfect time to offer him food.
There is nothing in this world that we should ever allow to lead us away from God. The best way to keep our minds and thoughts focused is with much prayer and reading of the scriptures. Our minds and thoughts need to be constantly cleansed with God's word and thoughts of Him. By doing so, we are excising our minds to basically keep an eye out for the evil one and his misleading ways. By staying spiritually in shape, we will be more apt to notice the subtleties of temptation and know when and were to veer to, so we can make a clean break for it. I personally believe the more scripture we know and the more we know how to access certain verses within our bible; the more ready we are able to deal with handling life's challenges and temptations. It really turns into a very powerful tool for us. Let's do all we can to not fall victim to the traps satan lays before us. By no means is this going to be easy, but we will be faced with many challenges ahead there's no doubt in that truth. It's going to be the awareness of them that we will help us better defeat them. I will be praying for all of you.
Today's Challenge: Keep a section within your spiritual journal noting when you feel you are tempted most. Write down what is going on in your life.
Your brother in Christ Jesus & His Most Blessed Mother,
Jim (The Rosary Man) Dacey Jr SFO