A rich man found his dog dead from old age. He went to his Parish Priest and asked if services could be conducted for his dog. The good priest said: ‘Oh no, we can’t have services for a dog here.’ ‘Father do you think Rs. 50,000/- might be enough of a donation’ asked the rich man. ‘Well man, why didn’t you tell me that your dog was a catholic?‘ Temptations make us compromise our ultimate values. In the desert Jesus was tempted but he resisted all temptations. With God’s help we too can resist temptations.
First – Temptation is not a sin, but rather it is in giving into temptation which becomes sin. It is the action which misses to mark, not looking at the target. If at all possible, try to avoid the circumstances for temptation.
Second – Temptation is resistible. Jesus was tempted, but he did not yield.
Third – Temptation is universal. It is common to everyone. The temptations which you now face are not unique. The same kind of temptation has been faced and successfully over come by thousands of other people.
Fourth – Knowledge of the Word of God is key to resisting temptation in our lives. It was in the life of Jesus. Pray for divine help. With God’s help, we can resist all temptations. Take time even if only a few minutes to study the Word and come to understand the gospel of Jesus.
Fifth – Our efforts to resist temptations will always be rewarded. The Greek word for trials and temptations is peirasmos. It means to tempt, to try, to test, to prove. That is the temptations and trials of life are, to prove us, they are for a beneficial purpose. What is the purpose to make stronger and more pure person – more holy, righteous and just. By conquering temptations, we become much more like Jesus.
So if we want to keep away sins from our lives, we have to resist all temptations, which are occasions to sin. With God’s help we can resist any temptation. Many a times we advice others about temptations. What about us? Lent is a right time to reflect on our temptations that lead us to sin and ask forgiveness from the all merciful and loving God!
Fr. Anand da Gama Pais