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Overcoming temptations

A teen-aged son asks his father at what age temptation to women disappears. The father replies, “At my age, son, 75.”

Whereupon, an attractive, shapely lady passes by. Ogling at her, the father says, “Son, I correct myself. Make that 80 years old!”

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Temptation is an ever-present reality in life. Even the Lord Jesus was tempted as the gospel of this first Sunday of Lent shows. (Read Matthew 4,1-11).

As Jesus withdrew to the wilderness for a retreat, He encountered Satan who offered him the ultimate in power, money and material comforts.

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The offer was, of course, conditional. Jesus was to acknowledge Satan as supreme being. “All these (worldly possessions) I will give you if you will fall down and worship me,” the devil said. Jesus answered with an emphatic no. “Begone Satan! The Lord your God shall you worship and him alone shall you serve” (Mt 4,10).

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The struggle between Jesus and the devil goes on within each of us, every day of our life. The urge to be true to God is real, but so is the urge to be untrue.

Temptation is not a sin, but an incitement to evil, a test. It’s when we give in that sin happens.

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In temptation the devil does not always appear in the stereotype image of a horrible looking half-man, half-animal with horns and forked tail. He can appear in the form of a well-dressed man with pleasing personality who incites us, for instance, to bribe people or steal.

The devil could use a smart, charming lady to seduce you to be unfaithful to your wife.

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One form of temptation is the so-called “occasion of sin.” There’s this man who’s been drinking heavily and said he wanted to kick the habit.

On the way home, he is invited by his barkada to drink just one bottle of beer – for friendship’s sake. “But after one bottle,” he says, “I couldn’t refuse to take a second, then a third and so on.” So instead of the concluding toast “one for the road!” it becomes “one for the canal!”

If one knows he’s weak, he should avoid the people that would lead him to fall.

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Today is National MIGRANTS’ SUNDAY. Our attention is focused on approximately five million Filipinos who are carrying heavy crosses as domestic helpers, seamen, and professionals.

With billions of peso-remittances from our OFWs, they deserve all-out support from the government.

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For those who are not working under abusive employers and in war-torn countries like Syria, the problem could be family and marital relationship. Reminds me of that OFW husband who has not returned home for three years. He called from Saudi Arabia, saying, “Kumusta na kayo?”

The wife replied: “Salamat sa mga padala mong pera. Ang beer house natin ay KTV Bar na! Ang tricycle natin, taxi na.

Ang one-storey house ay three storeys, at ang tatlong anak natin ay apat na!” Four in three years! How come?

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We pray that God will help our OFWs surmount their moral and family problems.

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SEMINARIANS. The season of Lent calls us to do more acts of charity. One way of doing it is to assist the needy seminarians under our “Adopt A Seminarian” scholarship program.

For inquiries, e-mail me at belsvd@gmail.com. (Fr. Bel R. San Luis, SVD)

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