It is 13th February 2018. The readings are from James 1:12-18; and the Gospel from Mark 8:14-21. We feel tempted so frequently than we feel so deeply blessed. We are the fountains of the temptations that unleashes the power of a river to destroy oneself and others. God does not tempt us at all but surely God puts us repeatedly testing our worth. Temptation leads us to sin and to move away from God and therefore God cannot tempt us anyway. The inclination to sin comes from right within and spills over to us and others. What makes us to be tempted? One is the unquenchable desire deep within each one of us and another source of our temptation is the people we relate and the things that we accumulate offers a false hope replacing God. We need to be alert at all times. Losing focus and alertness surely leads us to be tempted. The first reading comes at a point we are about to enter into the most important and personal time of conversion that begins with the Ash Wednesday. It’s going to be so tempting tomorrow as it falls the Valentine’s day. Which day takes the precedence in our kicking start a new liturgical time that has the power to pull us near God. St. James invites us to overcome the temptations rather to pass on the blame game on people and the things. We need to recognise and acknowledge our temptation and to pinpoint the wrong desire that promises pleasures that leads us away from God and using people as the object of pleasure. To put an end to the moments of temptations, we need to recall, recollect and to remember those situations and the people that made us to fall in such situation. We need to make effort in shunning those people and things that leads us to actions which we regret for so long. We need to accelerate our personal time with God and to discern the operation of the Holy Spirit so as to deal with the temptation. “Blessed is anyone who endures temptation. Such a one has stood the test and will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.” (James 1:12). The responsorial Psalm acclaims, “Happy are they whom you teach, O Lord.” (Ps.93:12). Jesus warns us all sternly, “Keep your eyes open; be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees and the yeast of Herod.” (Mk.8:15). We need to be alert and focused in dealing with the foolishness and indoctrination of strange teachings that blinds our minds to the extend we become secular and selective in worshiping God in truth and spirit. It is the breaking of the Bread at the Altar clears our minds from the wrong frame of minds. May the Lord help us to recognise the temptations that come along the way and to live a holy life that pleases God. May you have a good day.

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