by Carmen Julia Rodríguez Torres
“At that time, Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil.” (Matthew 4:1-11) God the Father allows Satan to tempt His Son Who is led by the Holy Spirit into the dessert. For how good
it is what have not been tried and found resilient and worthy? Any athlete or ballerina can attest that excellence comes at a high price. They train and endure hardship to shine on their worst day. No one among us would trust their body to a doctor whose ability has not been tested. Neither would we put our money in the hands of a banker or a financial counselor who is unprepared to handle the swings of the markets. So why are we surprised when God allows temptation in our lives? We do pray not to fall into temptation because we are human and fear we would not be found worthy of the promises of Christ. Yet, as the Bible tells us frequently, this world is a place
of temptation, a place of sorrows, a place of tests.
“In this world you will have trouble, but take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33) God the Father sent His Son so we may have an Advocate in Heaven; a Counselor who will lead us through times of confusion and chaos. Jesus’ life was not an easy life. Born in poverty; laboring at the margins of society; misunderstood even by those who claimed to follow Him, He followed the will of His Father even to death. Yes, He was often troubled, but never succumbed to despair. Yes, He was often left alone, but never denied the authority of His Father. Yes, He felt abandoned at His hour of trials, but never strayed from the Path or the Truth. He did overcome the world by the only power that can prevail over evil: LOVE, FORGIVENESS, SOLIDARITY.
And in those days… a wolf shall dwell with the lamb; and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them.” (Isaiah 11:16) Who feels loved has no need to kill. Who partakes of the abundance this world has to offer has no need to steal. Who is welcomed has no need to conspire or do harm. We have the example of God the Father Who so loved us He gave His only Son so we may be saved. We have the gift from God the Son who gave His life so we may have life eternal. We have the comforting company of God the Holy Spirit in Whose Love, Abundance, and Truth we walk every day of our lives towards Heaven. NOTHING is impossible for those who BELIEVE!
“While the wicked ignore God, the righteous seek him out.” (Psalm 9:10) Who makes human beings become wicked? Certainly not God Who is LOVE. Brothers and Sisters, LOVE cannot be legislated. If it does not come from a giving, trusting heart, out of free will it is not LOVE. We read in the Bible (1 Corinthians 13:1): “If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.” NOTHING… is that what we want? To take without considering the consequences? To consume while others go wanting? To think only of our desire instead of taking care of others? Then, we are NOTHING…
I come to you as a sinner in need of forgiveness and support. I ask of you to open your eyes; to open your ears; to open your hearts. So wherever you see evil, you may shine the Light of God. So wherever you hear the false promises of evil, you may boldly proclaim with vibrant voice the Good News. So wherever you feel in your heart the cries for help of your brothers and sisters, you respond without hesitation: Here I am, Lord! God is not ignoring the troubles and sorrows of this world. He is eagerly waiting for each and every one of us to pray: Here I am, Lord.
I pray: Be with me in my hour of need, so we may walk as one people towards Heaven…