It is 10th June 2018. We celebrate the Tenth Sunday in Ordinary Time. The readings are from Genesis 3:9-15; the second readings are from 2 Corinthians 4:13-5:1; and the Gospel from Mark 3:20-35. Obedience to the Word of God makes us morally certain and spiritually vibrant. Human weakness whether it is physical or spiritual is found in all of us. Anyone can be tempted by Satan and made weak. Yet, grace and mercy of God makes us to feel as the children of God when we are able to listen to the Word of God. Just like the first parents who listened carefully the instructions and the ground rules of the garden of Eden set by God, yet they did not obey. When they have listened to a stranger, the Satan whom they considered as their friend, deviated them, deceived them, conned them to do against the Word of God. We are taught in our Catechism No. 400, “Finally, the consequence explicitly foretold for this disobedience will come true: man will “return to the ground”, for out of it he was taken. Death makes its entrance into human history.” Satan is real and He is at work in us and around us. In His Apostolic Exhortation Gaudete Et Exsultate (On The Call To Holiness in today’s world), our Holy Father Francis articulates strongly in No. 161. “Hence, we should not think of the devil as a myth, a representation, a symbol, a figure of speech or an idea. This mistake would lead us to let down our guard, to grow careless and end up more vulnerable. The devil does not need to possess us. He poisons us with the venom of hatred, desolation, envy and vice. When we let down our guard, he takes advantage of it to destroy our lives, our families and our communities. “Like a roaring lion, he prowls around, looking for someone to devour” (1 Pet 5:8). In the first reading, we see the presence and power of Satan misleading our First Parents Adam and Eve. Having succumbed to his cunning plan, no one wanted to take responsibility for the sin of disobedience. They were blaming someone for their choices. The responsorial Psalm praises, “With the Lord there is mercy, and fullness of redemption.” (Ps.130:7). In the second reading, St. Paul invites us not to lose hope in God when we are destroyed and dismantled by the evil. What we go through now is not permanent and we are not to discourage ourselves. We must go on standing for God and God’s Word in our lives. “For this slight momentary affliction is preparing us for an eternal weight of glory beyond all measure, because we look not at what can be seen but at what cannot be seen; for what can be seen is temporary, but what cannot be seen is eternal.” (2 Cor.4:7). The Gospel teaches us that when sin lives in us and we have familiarity with the Satan, everything including Jesus seems evil and Satanic manifestation. We get confused and we go to extent of betraying Jesus when the evil takes hold of us. Our relationship with God even though begins in our blood relationship from our families and yet extended to all of us spiritually by listening to the Word of God. Our listening must lead to action like that of our Mother Mary. “For whoever does the will of God is my brother and sister and mother.” (Mk.3:35). May we be aware of the tricks of the devils and be willing to open our hearts to the Word of God and build our lives by obeying God every moment of our lives. May you have a good day.

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