READINGS for 2008-02-10

Didache | Companion | Sabbath



“Worship the Lord your God and serve only him.” – Matthew 4:10
In December 2005, my sister who lives in the United States fell seriously ill. I wanted to be by her side but I couldn’t afford the airfare.
        The thought of calling up Rose (not her real name), someone I once featured in our magazine, crossed my mind. She told me then that she would take me along in one of her business trips to the United States. But I knew it was unethical for us to ask for favors, especially from persons we feature in the magazine. The only time our company allows us to accept free trips is if it’s for an official news coverage. So I decided not to call her up.
        A year later, my siblings told me that I really had to visit our ailing sister. They were willing to send my airfare so I planned to leave on the third week of January 2007. Unaware of my plans, Rose called me on January 4 to say that she had recommended me to be a media advisor for an official trade mission to the U.S. It was going to be on the third week of January! Because of that, my siblings no longer had to pay for my airfare.
       We face many temptations, maybe not as big as Jesus had to hurdle in today’s Gospel, but temptation nonetheless. But when we triumph over these temptations like Jesus did, we get our due reward. Just like Jesus did. Cynthia Santiago
What are you doing that you should not be doing today?
Lord, lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen.


This proto-historical account of creation and the first sin teaches us that as individuals, we all must take responsibility for the state that we find ourselves in. Though it might be convenient to blame someone else for the problems and struggles of our lives, it is never going to solve the problem for us. We must be willing to own our part of the responsibility and do something about fixing it.
Genesis 2:7-9; 3:1-7
7 The LORD God formed man out of the clay of the ground and blew into his nostrils the breath of life, and so man became a living being. 8 Then the LORD God planted a garden in Eden, in the east, and he placed there the man whom he had formed. 9 Out of the ground the LORD God made various trees grow that were delightful to look at and good for food, with the tree of life in the middle of the garden and the tree of the knowledge of good and bad. 3: 1 Now the serpent was the most cunning of all the animals that the LORD God had made. The serpent asked the woman, “Did God really tell you not to eat from any of the trees in the garden?” 2 The woman answered the serpent: “We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden; 3 it is only about the fruit of the tree in the middle of the garden that God said, “‘You shall not eat it or even touch it, lest you die.’” 4 But the serpent said to the woman: “You certainly will not die! 5 No, God knows well that the moment you eat of it your eyes will be opened and you will be like gods who know what is good and what is bad.” 6 The woman saw that the tree was good for food, pleasing to the eyes, and desirable for gaining wisdom. So she took some of its fruit and ate it; and she also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. 7 Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized that they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made loincloths for themselves.
Psalm 51:3-4, 5-6, 12-13, 14 and 17
R: Be merciful, O Lord, for we have sinned.
1 [3] Have mercy on me, O God, in your goodness; in the greatness of your compassion wipe out my offense. 2 [4] Thoroughly wash me from my guilt and of my sin cleanse me. (R) 3 [5] For I acknowledge my offense, and my sin is before me always. 4 [6] “Against you only have I sinned, and done what is evil in your sight.” (R) 10 [12] A clean heart create for me, O God, and a steadfast spirit renew within me. 11 [13] Cast me not out from your presence, and your Holy spirit take not from me. (R) 12 [14] Give me back the joy of your salvation, and a willing spirit sustain in me. 15 [17] O Lord, open my lips, and my mouth shall proclaim your praise. (R)
Paul is not presenting the case that the fault for all sin rests with Adam. After all, Eve ate of the tree first. Paul is saying that we all share in this “first” proto-historical event through our own individual sins. This ultimately means that we are all faced with the battle to overcome the power of sin in our lives and to embrace the will of God for us. This will be a lifelong journey.
Romans 5:12-19 (or 5:12, 17-19)
12 Through one person sin entered the world, and through sin, death, and thus death came to all, inasmuch as all sinned — 13 for up to the time of the law, sin was in the world, though sin is not accounted when there is no law. 14 But death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those who did not sin after the pattern of the trespass of Adam, who is the type of the one who was to come. 15 But the gift is not like the transgression. For if by that one person’s transgression the many died, how much more did the grace of God and the gracious gift of the one person Jesus Christ overflow for the many. 16 And the gift is not like the result of the one person’s sinning. For after one sin there was the judgment that brought condemnation; but the gift, after many transgressions, brought acquittal. 17 For if, by the transgression of one person, death came to reign through that one, how much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of justification come to reign in life through the one person Jesus Christ. 18 In conclusion, just as through one transgression condemnation came upon all, so through one righteous act acquittal and life came to all. 19 For just as through the disobedience of one person the many were made sinners, so through the obedience of one the many will be made righteous.
Jesus gives us the best, true and proven example of how to combat sin in our lives – namely with the truth of the Word of God. From the truth of the Word of God, the devil must flee as he cannot abide in the truth. This is good news for us because it makes it theoretically very simple for us to reject the power of Satan in our lives. Speak the truth of the Gospel in time of temptation and the devil will flee.
Matthew 4:1-11
1 At that time Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil. 2 He fasted for forty days and forty nights, and afterwards he was hungry. 3 The tempter approached and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command that these stones become loaves of bread.” 4 He said in reply, “It is written: ‘One does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes forth from the mouth of God.’” 5 Then the devil took him to the holy city, and made him stand on the parapet of the temple, 6 and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down. For it is written: ‘He will command his angels concerning you’ and ‘with their hands they will support you, lest you dash your foot against a stone.’” 7 Jesus answered him, “Again it is written, ‘You shall not put the Lord, your God, to the test.’” 8 Then the devil took him up to a very high mountain, and showed him all the kingdoms of the world in their magnificence, 9 and he said to him, “All these I shall give to you, if you will prostrate yourself and worship me.” 10 At this, Jesus said to him, “Get away, Satan! It is written: ‘The Lord, your God, shall you worship and him alone shall you serve.’” 11 Then the devil left him and, behold, angels came and ministered to him.
my reflections
think: Jesus gives us the best, true and proven example of how to combat sin in our lives – namely with the truth of the Word of God. Are we using it?

God’s special verse/thought for me today________________

Thank You Lord for: ____________________________________
READ THE BIBLE IN ONE YEAR 1 Corinthians 13-16
My weekly time with God
Things to be grateful for from the past week
Things to ask God for in the coming week
Most important word God told me this week
1 Corinthians 13-16

  fiGhtinG teMptation

Family days in the seminary are always fun. The seminarians and their families get to update each other on their life developments. During one such affair in our seminary, our Rector decided to meet with our parents and their seminarian sons. He immediately entertained questions, comments and even unsolicited advices from parents. One such comment was, “Father, why don’t you just keep our sons here inside the seminary till the schoolyear ends? Do not let them go out for days off. It would just expose them to girls and other temptations outside.”
        The question and comment brought grins on the faces of the seminarians. In our desire to live a holy life, we try to shut ourselves from the tempting world outside thinking that such approach will leave us sinless.
        Can that approach really safeguard one’s sanctity? To a certain  extent, perhaps, but it is not a guarantee to a sin-free life. It is like locking the barn because the hay gets stolen every so often—the occasion for sin is removed but the tendency to steal remains.
        What needs to be developed is the person’s capacity to deal with temptations. The inner moral structure of the person must be built up so that even when temptations abound he is able to stand his ground. The reality is that we can not hold off temptations. No matter where we go, temptations will go with us, yes, even within the sacred walls of seminaries. Hence, it is ourselves and how we conduct ourselves in the midst of them that need to be dealt with.
         Jesus dealt with it by holding fast to the Father’s word. And that sustained Him to the end. Living out, in and for God’s word solidified Jesus’ moral structure. It enabled Him to hold on to what is good in the face of temptations. It worked for Jesus.  Surely it will work for us as well. Fr. Sandy Enhaynes
Reflection Question:
Do you call on Jesus to help you resist temptation?
Lord, temptations go with us wherever we go. Always remain with us and strengthen us to fight the good fight.
St. Scholastica, virgin, pray for us.

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