Sunday, March 5, 2017

The Temptations We Face

BEADS OF JOY 03-05-17
First Sunday of Lent
“The Temptations We Face”
©2017 James Dacey, Jr. OFS

My Friends,

Today’s Gospel: Matthew 4:1-11 (The Temptation of Jesus)
“Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. And he fasted forty days and forty nights, and afterward he was hungry. And the tempter came and said to him, "If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread." But he answered, "It is written, `Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.'" Then the devil took him to the holy city, and set him on the pinnacle of the temple, and said to him, "If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down; for it is written, `He will give his angels charge of you,' and `On their hands they will bear you up, lest you strike your foot against a stone.'" Jesus said to him, "Again it is written, `You shall not tempt the Lord your God.'" Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain, and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and the glory of them; and he said to him, "All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me." Then Jesus said to him, "Begone, Satan! for it is written, `You shall worship the Lord your God and him only shall you serve.'" Then the devil left him, and behold, angels came and ministered to him.”

Temptation is a horrible thing we all face. Temptation always goes after our weakest most vulnerable desires. Our inner strength must be strong, so strong that that even our desires don’t collapse under the opportunity to acquire that which we desire the most. I love chocolate and I confess even when I am trying to cut back and look after my figure; OK that was a joke, I don’t “look after my figure”; I just try to be healthy from time to time. But even when I have great intentions I fail from time to time when chocolate is nearby and I know it wouldn’t really hurt to have just a little.

We must remember that temptation is bait that draws us into our sins. We need to be very aware of that in a very positive way. Staying alert and in tune with that which destroys us spiritually; will help us stay in tune with that which helps us be strong spiritually in times of temptation. Being aware of these things is what will help us get through the temptations much stronger than if we are naive to them. God knows the measure we can handle, we won’t be pushed to the point of no return. Look at scripture:

“No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.” ~ 1 Corinthians 10:13

Let us be strong in our faith and in our love for Jesus. How can we stay distracted from our temptations? Well, I am not perfect and yes, I do fail often; but what I have found works best is staying focused on Jesus and Our Lady as much as you can. Incorporate prayer (suggestion: The Rosary) into your daily life. Make it an elaborate part of your day, of your life of your life’s mission and purpose. That distraction and positive reinforcement will help you be stronger in times of temptation.

Pondering these thoughts today: Temptation in many ways is the litmus test to our faith. How much do we love Jesus? How much are we willing to neglect our own desires to stay true to our Lord? If we are such easy prey to fall victim to sin and offend our Lord; how true is our love for Him? God knows all that we do, including our hearts intentions and even if we come up with some elaborate explanation to make it acceptable, it doesn’t make it right. Sin is sin and temptation is usually the doorway to our sins. We need to make sure Jesus is at the doorway to help us not open that door.


Your brother in Christ Jesus 
And His Most Blessed Mother,
Jim (The Rosary Man) Dacey Jr OFS

Sunday’s during Lent: We pray the Sorrowful Mysteries:

The Sorrowful Mysteries

1. Agony on the Garden (Sorrow for sin) –Matt 26:36-46
2. Scourging at the Pillar (Purity) –Mark 15:1-16
3. Crowning with Thorns (Moral Courage) –Matt 27:27-31
4. Carrying of the Cross (Patience) –Mark 15:20-22
5. The Crucifixion (Perseverance) –Luke 23:33-46

Thank you Lord for loving us so much…

Rosary Man Jim’s Sorrowful Reflection: