24th MAY 2023

Pin on God and Jesus Christ



Acts 20: 28-38;                       Ps 68: 29-30, 33-36;               Jn 17: 11-19



On Monday we heard Saint Paul imparting the Holy Spirit on some of the disciples at Ephesus. His ministry there was so powerful and effective that many believers, who still secretly held on to evil and superstitious practices, completely renounced their old ways (Acts 19:11-20). However, Paul’s experience with the other Churches had taught him how easy it was to lose the initial fervour for Christ, forget who and what we are created to be, believe in falsehoods whispered by the evil one and again revert to the old ways of thinking, behaving and living like the rest of the world. We hear him exhorting the elders today to be constantly vigilant against the wolves that come with a travesty of truth, aware that temptations always have a facade of truth and goodness.

The spiritual journey is never without temptations. They begin with suggestions that induce our actions and words and are relatively easier to recognize compared to those that come through thoughts and ideas. Evagrius of Pontus, a Desert Father, suggests a simple method of confronting these temptations from thoughts by using a remedy called talking back: countering every suggestion contrary to charity and the will of God with a verse from Scripture. The model is Jesus Himself as He confronted the temptations of the devil in the desert. In keeping with the desert tradition, the Carmelite Rule states: ‘The sword of the spirit, the word of God, must abound in your mouths and hearts. Let all you do have the Lord’s word for accompaniment.’

Jesus in the Gospel reveals the reason for this: the word is truth. And his faithful Apostle Paul also bequeaths the faithful with the weapon of the word of God. However, using any weapon requires knowledge of it, training and practice in its use before it is employed in battle. What place does the Word of God have in my life? How familiar am I with the word of God?

Response: You kingdoms of the earth, sing to God.

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