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Overcoming temptations

By Fr. Bel R. San Luis, SVD

A teen-aged son asked his father at what age temptation to women disappears. The father replied, “At my age, son, 75 years.” Whereupon, a beautiful, shapely lady passed by. Ogling at her, the father blurted out, “Son, did I say 75 years? Make that 85!”

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Temptations will never disappear as long as we’re alive. Temptations are not just of the flesh but also of dishonesty, injustice and greed. Resisting them is part and parcel of our daily spiritual struggle.

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The Gospel message for this 1st Sunday of Lent, relates how Jesus underwent temptations in the desert and how he struggled to overcome them, thus setting for us an example. The more elaborate account of Jesus’ temptation is read in St. Luke’s gospel Lk 4,1-13.

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Let’s remember one very important thing. Temptation often comes not at our strongest, but at our weakest moments.

Jesus’ temptation began AFTER 40 days of fasting. Isn’t it that when one is broke and creditors are running after him, the temptation to steal, accept bribes or engage in illegal drug business can be very strong?

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We have just entered the season of Lent. Lent is a special occasion which calls us to deep decision-making. It challenges us to test our fidelity to God and our moral convictions.

Can you pass the test? Do you avoid the occasions that will lead you to sin? ACTION: Avoid bad barkada that influences you to steal, take dangerous drugs or get addicted to alcoholic drinks.

Do more acts of charity to counteract your selfishness and greed.

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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 so on.

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 troubled countries in the Middle East, the problem of OFWs could be family and marital relationship. Reminds me of the story about an a husband who had 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 did it happen?

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That’s just a joke but it highlights a sad reality among Filipino migrants of broken families due to long separation between husband and wife.

One wonders if the dollars earned abroad are worth it when one’s family is in shambles. To paraphrase the Lord’s words: “What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world but suffers the loss of his family.”

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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 needy seminarians under our “Adopt A Seminarian” scholarship program.

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Seminarians are our future priests, bishops and popes. We cannot have them without seminarians.

For inquiries, e-mail me at belsvd@gmail.com.

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