Tuesday, 18th February – Tuesday of week 6 of the year
Reflection: James 1: 12-18
WHEN TRIALS COME
As a consequence of original sin, there came distortion to perfect order of creation (Romans 5:12; Genesis 3; CCC 397-400) and life has not been a bed of roses for us all. Even as Christians, we are not absolutely immune from life’s difficulties (2 Timothy 3:12), but if we abide in God, He has promised never to allow us to be tried beyond our capacity to endure and to ultimately transform the situation for our good (1Corinthians 10:13). When and how He will do this are some of the questions beyond our human understanding (Isaiah 55:8-9). That makes Him who He is, the sovereign God.
Though trials and tribulations can be consequences of our sins (Psalm 107: 17; John 5: 1-14; Jonah 1), not all sufferings stem from individual sins. The scripture is repleted with examples of holy faithful (Joseph, Job, Zechariah and Elizabeth, the Blessed Virgin Mary) who went through hard times (Genesis 39:2-23; Job 1; Luke 1:5-7; 2:34-35). Our Lord Jesus Christ, though perfect, drank of the chalice of persecution and suffering (Matthew 16:21-24; Hebrews 5: 7-8). The devil is a cunning and unrelenting enemy who will do all he can to frustrate our quest for holiness and Heaven. We must stand firm in faith, we must prove our unflinching allegiance to God as Job did (Job 2:10).
Beloved friends, we are all liable to temptation (to lie, cheat, fornicate, abort etc) but not “programmed” to give in. As children of God, we have the grace through the empowerment of the Holy Spirit to resist and overcome temptation. This, our Lord Jesus Christ demonstrated in His temptation after forty days of fasting and prayer (Matthew 4:11).
Today’s Psalm, (Psalm 94: 12-15, 18-19) is affirms of God’s promises to see us through life’s trials. Rather than losing hope (Romans 4:17-22), we should hold on to God’s words with greater watchfulness and prayer (Matthew 26: 40-41).
PRAYER: Oh Lord, I hold on to you! Grant me victory in my trials and temptations.
KNOW YOUR FAITH: CCC 409 – The dramatic situation of “the whole world (which) is in the power of the evil one” makes man’s life a battle: the whole of man’s history has been the story of duor combat with the powers of evil, stretching, so our Lord tells us, from the very dawn of history until the last day. Finding himself in the midst of the battle field, man has to struggle to do what is right, and it is at great cost to himself, and aided by God’s grace, that he succeeds in achieving his own inner integrity.
HIDE A TREASURE: “I have said this to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” John 16:33 RSV-CE
Readings for today: James 1: 12-18; Psalm 94: 12-15; 18-19; Mark 8: 14-21