We all know… we all admit and we all believe that Jesus is God but because of God’s unconditional love for His creatures, He sent His one and only begotten Son to the world as a man. As a man with flesh, bone and blood, He was not exempted to face temptations (Luke 4:1-13 and Matthew 4:1-11). In these verses, Jesus has shown us the three folds of temptations that we have to battle to overcome these evil things:
The word “concupiscence” means someone’s desire or want. These three folds as we have been told in our Catechism, come from our original sin which we inherited from Adam and Eve, our first parents.
We must remember that before their fall, Adam and Eve received the Gift of Sanctifying Grace. They shared the Divine Life of God. They had great knowledge and control over all their natural powers of body and spirit. And most of all, there was neither sufferings nor death.
But sin marred the image of God in us. We were separated from God. We lost the sanctifying gifts. On account of our sin, we become the subject to death, sufferings and the strong tendency to do evil (concupiscence).
Mankind’s sinfulness and wickedness had been so great that not even the Prophets, Patriarchs nor chosen leaders were able to appease the divine justice to redeem mankind. The world’s wretchedness had reached such unlimited heights that it had to take Someone Infinite… Someone All-Powerful… Someone All-Merciful to defeat sin…. JESUS CHRIST !
Without the grace of God, we are wounded by sin. We are inclined to do evil. Jesus is true to His promise that in fighting the devil, HE WILL SUPPLY US WITH WEAPONS! To destroy these three-fold concupiscence, Jesus invites us to use THREE EFFECTIVE ARMAMENT:
At a glance, we would see that the seven (7) Capital Sins all fall under any of the three-fold concupiscence:
Concupiscence of Flesh
Concupiscence of Flesh
Pride of Life
We ought not to forget that our Lord Jesus Christ has done His part. Jesus has gone ahead to prepare a place for us. Now WE MUST WORK, PRAY and LIVE IN VIRTUE in order to merit heaven. Heaven is meant for all of us, but because of our CHOICES (our sinful nature), we run the risk of depriving ourselves of this wonderful privilege. We give in to wordly suggestions and we lose sight of our sacred goal. Heaven is forfeited even by a single sin. The moment we commit an offence against God, WE ALLOW THE DEVIL TO WORK IN US and we become UNWORTHY of heaven.
However, in spite of this all, WE MUST NOT LOSE COURAGE. For there are these steps that God has given us to be delivered from the bondage of sin and regain heaven:
26 In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. 27 And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.
28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who[i] have been called according to his purpose.
9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
19 Therefore this is what the Lord says:
“If you repent, I will restore you
that you may serve me;
if you utter worthy, not worthless, words,
you will be my spokesman.
Let this people turn to you,
but you must not turn to them.
20 I will make you a wall to this people,
a fortified wall of bronze;
they will fight against you
but will not overcome you,
for I am with you
to rescue and save you,”
declares the Lord.
21 “I will save you from the hands of the wicked
and deliver you from the grasp of the cruel.”
30 “Therefore, you Israelites, I will judge each of you according to your own ways, declares the Sovereign Lord. Repent! Turn away from all your offenses; then sin will not be your downfall. 31 Rid yourselves of all the offenses you have committed, and get a new heart and a new spirit. Why will you die, people of Israel?
Strengthen the feeble hands,
steady the knees that give way;
4 say to those with fearful hearts,
“Be strong, do not fear;
your God will come,
he will come with vengeance;
with divine retribution
he will come to save you.”
3 For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. 4 The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. 5 We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.
10 We are fools for Christ, but you are so wise in Christ! We are weak, but you are strong! You are honored, we are dishonored! 11 To this very hour we go hungry and thirsty, we are in rags, we are brutally treated, we are homeless. 12 We work hard with our own hands. When we are cursed, we bless; when we are persecuted, we endure it; 13 when we are slandered, we answer kindly. We have become the scum of the earth, the garbage of the world—right up to this moment.
Therefore, my dear Brothers and Sisters, I invite you to meditate on this and I hope and pray that we will be able to overcome our daily problems and become victorious rather than victims. I share with you the following verses and let us all reflect on them.
3 Join with me in suffering, like a good soldier of Christ Jesus. 4 No one serving as a soldier gets entangled in civilian affairs, but rather tries to please his commanding officer. 5 Similarly, anyone who competes as an athlete does not receive the victor’s crown except by competing according to the rules. 6 The hardworking farmer should be the first to receive a share of the crops. 7 Reflect on what I am saying, for the Lord will give you insight into all this.
(c) 2013 Bro Francis Abanilla, Melbourne
El Shaddai House
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