YEAR A: HOMILY FOR FRIDAY OF THE 5TH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME
HOMILY THEME: Every Temptation is a Lie: Never Believe the Devil.
BY: Fr. Evaristus Abu
HOMILY: “But the serpent said to the woman, ‘You will not die. For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.’” (Genesis 3:4-5)
All temptations follow the same pattern. Just as Eve was tempted, so was Jesus tempted and we too are tempted to sin from time to time. In every temptation, satan presents something that appears positive and worthwhile to us. By presenting a shining reward ahead, we become interested and develop some longing for it.
To Eve, Satan presented the possibility of knowledge to her; she wanted to have something she felt was lacking. satan always tempts us with that which we think is lacking in us. He always comes in like a friend trying to help us fulfil our desires. It was precisely when Jesus was hungry that satan presented the idea of turning stones to bread.
When you are broke, satan will tempt you with how to get money. When you are lonely, satan will tempt you with some lustful or immoral desire and at the same time, he makes us believe we deserve such inordinate desire. satan always tries to take advantage of our wants, tastes and expectation.
The second aspect of every temptation is the attempt by satan to make us think less about God and His laws. Having created a desire in Eve, satan proceeded to make her believe that God was actually been unfair by asking her not to eat from the forbidden tree. Satan does the same thing to us too, he makes us think God’s commandments are a burden to us or that God is limiting our freedom and humanity.
Once we begin to doubt God infinite love for us, once we begin to think that God is keeping something precious away from us, we start falling into the realm of sin.
The third tactic that Satan uses is to make us think we can wriggle our way out of God’s instructions. Notice how satan began with Eve: “Did God say, ‘you shall not eat of any tree of the garden?” In other words, satan is asking: “Are you sure you heard God well?” This is satan’s deadliest weapon; making us swim in sin by offering a sweet and easy interpretation of God’s commands.
satan tried to play this trick on Jesus when he quoted the Bible passage regarding God offering the protection of Angels if he attempts to jump down from the pinnacle of the temple. Many Christians today are being led astray by false interpretations or rather demonic twists of the actual contents of the Bible. Jesus was neither ignorant of the Bible nor of the correct context of that passage. That is why he refused to jump. Know the Bible. Know exactly what God is saying because satan could come to you disguised as a pastor, a preacher or even a general overseer.
No matter how strong temptation is, it is always left to our will power. When satan had finished his work on Eve’s mind, he stood aside and allowed her to make the next step. The Bible tells us that when Eve SAW that the tree was good for food, and that it was a DELIGHT TO THE EYES and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate; and she also gave some to her husband, and he ate.”
Bear one thing in mind that this temptation occurred when both Adam and Eve were standing beside the forbidden fruit. They were not far from the tree. While Satan was talking about the tree, their eyes were fixed upon it. To avoid sin, we must first avoid the occasion of sin; that is, we must avoid having to fix our eyes on sin. As one elderly priest advised: “the meat you will not eat, do not use your teeth in dividing it for others.” Be careful of what you feed your eyes with. Trust God, trust that all his commandments and instructions are for your good. Never believe the lies of the devil, he is only a thief, a liar and a deceiver. Satan is not and will never be a friend, if he gives a dime, he takes back a pound of flesh.
Trust God. Trust and obey his commandments. In the healing of the deaf and dumb man in our Gospel passage this morning, we see how much Jesus cares us. Take your troubles to Jesus and trust that He will find a way out for you, a way that is far better than whatever satan has to offer.
Let us Pray: Lord Jesus, increase my trust in you daily that I may never offend you anymore. Amen.
*Be Happy. Live Positive. Have Faith. It is well with you. God bless you. (Friday of the 5th Week in Ordinary Time. Bible Study: Genesis 3:1-8, Psalm 32, and Mark 7:31-37).