Gospel for March 13, 2011 – Comfort

Temptation of Jesus in desert. HOLE, WILLIAM: ...
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The Gospel for Sunday, March 6, 2011 is from Matthew 4:1-11.  In this Gospel, Jesus fasted and prayed in the desert for 40 days before rejecting Satan’s temptations.  Tired, hungry, and physically weak Jesus had the strength to reject evil.  Jesus shows this same spiritual endurance during His Passion, especially in the scourging at the pillar which we remember when we pray the Second Sorrowful Mystery of the rosary.  May we learn that we too have the strength to endure life’s challenges and that we will find comfort in Heaven after we reject evil in this life.

“Then the devil left him and, behold, angels came and ministered to Him” (Matthew 4:11)  To me, this is the most interesting verse in this Gospel reading.  The fact that angels needed to minster to Jesus after the 40 days in the desert shows just how difficult that ordeal really was.  I think many of us have this idea that because Jesus is God made man and performed many miracles that spending 40 fasting must not have been very hard for Him.  With that mindset we cannot relate with how Jesus faced life’s challenges and think it is unfair that He asks so much of us.  After all, how are we to imitate Jesus without the advantage of being superhuman?  But since angels needed to comfort Him shows us that certain aspects of life were no easier for Jesus than they are for the rest of us.

Like the challenges Jesus faced in His 40 days in the desert, the Second Sorrowful Mystery shows us the great hardship Jesus endured during The Passion.  Jesus felt pain and suffering when scourged at the pillar as any of us would.  But His faith in God gave Him the strength to persevere that torment.  Likewise, our faith tells us that we have the same strength to endure hardship in this life.  We have every opportunity to imitate Jesus by remaining faithful despite life’s challenges.  As much as we would like to be spared hardship in this life, chances are that our physical and spiritual limits will be tested at some point whether that be illness, a tragic accident, or a crisis of faith.  But this rosary mystery shows us that we all have the God-given ability to overcome any challenge and endure any hardship as Jesus did during His scourging.

May we remember that, like Jesus after His 40 days in the desert and all the pain and suffering He encountered in The Sorrowful Mysteries, we too will find joy and comfort in Heaven.  In fact, the comfort that Jesus offers us will so dwarf our earthly suffering that it will make the worst times in our life feel like a momentary itch.  But we also must remember that this consolation only comes to those who live according to God’s will.  Remember, the angels ministered to Jesus only after He rejected the temptations of the devil.  Likewise, we will find true joy and happiness once we reject Satan’s false promises and evils in this world.  Especially in this season of Lent, as we prepare for Easter through fasting and prayer, may we remember that God gave us the gift to overcome any challenge this world has to offer.  Let us remember to use this gift when we face difficult challenges in our lives.

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The Rosary: Heavenly Medicine

If you notice, the tag line for my website is, “A rosary a day keeps the devil away.” As clever as that sounds, there is a great deal of truth in that statement. The rosary is not a piece of fashion or some sort of magical talisman. It is more like medicine or a vitamin that helps fight off the devil who is as real as any disease but many orders of magnitude deadlier. It is extremely important to use the rosary and pray to Mary for She is incredibly powerful and will keep you safe.

In Christianity, Satan is considered the being...
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If you notice, the tag line for my website is, “A rosary a day keeps the devil away.”  As clever as that sounds, there is a great deal of truth in that statement.  The rosary is not a piece of fashion or some sort of magical talisman.  It is more like medicine or a vitamin that helps fight off the devil who is as real as any disease but many orders of magnitude deadlier.  It is extremely important to use the rosary and pray for Mary’s intercession for She is incredibly powerful against evil and will keep you safe.

Why is the devil deadlier than any physical disease?  He is such a grave threat because he can kill something far more precious than your body and that is your eternal soul.  Keep in mind that your physical body only exists for an instant when compared to the eternity of the afterlife.  Any physical pain and suffering endured in this world is minuscule compared to the joy or torment in the afterlife.   But in that instant you are in this world, the devil is actively trying to claim your soul for all eternity.  It is an ongoing battle and you must be prepared to fight and resist sin.

But like many diseases, there is a very effective, preventative medicine to prevent ESD (eternal soul death).  In case you didn’t guess, it’s the rosary.  It may be made of simple rope or a chain, but it is your life line to keep your soul healthy and resistant to the devil.  Praying it will build up your immunity to evil and prevent you from falling into mortal sin.  When you focus on the rosary, you focus on God and doing His will, not indulging in sinful activity.  By praying routinely the temptation to fall into sin will diminish.  However, even the best medicine is useless if you never take it.  For the rosary to be effective, you need to take it off your rear view mirror of your car or out of your desk drawer and pray it.  And you have to match that prayer with a spiritually healthy lifestyle with the intent to do God’s will.

Prayer is an effective antidote to sin because it was given to us from the Mother of God.  The Virgin Mary gave us the rosary like a good mother gives medicine to a child.  She intends for us to use it so that we may live in a state of grace.  The Archbishop of Mexico City, Cardinal Norberto Rivera Carrera, had this to say about appealing for Mary’s intercessions to fight the devil:

She brings us to Jesus, she protects us and cares for us in this difficult ministry … Mary also participates in exorcisms. She herself is an exorcist and expels the devil through her sanctity.

Mary is our heavenly mother and one tough opponent for the devil.  With Her, our Lord Jesus Christ, the saints, and the angels in Heaven, you are well protected from the devil and anything he may throw at you.  So let’s take advantage of this great, heavenly medicine and pray regularly because our immortal souls depends on it.

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