Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Temptation can purify

In our initial reading at Mass, we have turned from the historical books of the Old Testament to the Letter of St. James. (As an aside, this is the Letter that Martin Luther infamously called the 'Epistle of Straw' due to his dislike for the contents of this Letter.)

Today, St. James identifies something that we likely all intuitively know: temptation is a part of life. However, there is a hidden aspect when facing these temptations to ask the question: 'Why is God doing this to me?' James offers a stern and quick rebuke to this line of questioning: It is not from God but is an enticement of our own desire.

When we face temptations, (going with Sunday's First Reading), we face a choice to give in or to resist. Certainly, at times, the temptations may be strong, particularly when we are weak, but that is why we have the availability of Confession, thanks be to God!

Finally, as we face and struggle against those temptations, with the Letter, we also begin to recognize the good things that God also gives, those little moments of overcoming, those little moments of Grace throughout the day, so that as Jesus challenges the Twelve in the Gospel, we might use our eyes to see the fingerprints of God in our day and our ears to hear His whispering voice encouraging us all to greatness.

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