Regína sacratíssimi Rosárii, ora pro nobis!


Ninth Sunday after Pentecost—2 August AD 2020
Ave Maria!



Support our Building Fund

Roman Triumphal arch panel copy from Beth Hatefutsoth, showing spoils of Jerusalem Temple [*]

[Ordinary of the Mass]
[English Text]
[Latin Text]

Fidelity in Time of Temptation

“God is faithful, and will not allow you to be tempted
beyond your strength.”

    In today's Epistle, St. Paul is telling the Corinthians about the journey of the Jewish people through the desert to escape the Egyptians and enter the Promised Land.  He is explaining to them that God made the Jews wander in the desert for some 40 years, because of their infidelities toward Him.  Specifically, Paul assumes that his readers have read the Book of Numbers and its 14th and 21st chapters.  After being delivered from Egypt, the people were often rebellious, complaining that their deliverance from slavery also meant a great deal of hardship and insecurity as they wandered through the desert.  They murmured, they complained, and often enough they gave themselves over to the worship of the false gods of the nations with whom they came into contact.

    If you have been following the Scripture program at our website, you read about the incredible unfaithfulness of King Solomon with his thousand wives—many of them pagans, who got him to worship their false gods.[2]

    Paul relates these things to the Corinthians in order to warn them of the need to avoid temptation in order to enter into that land that has been promised to Christians, the Kingdom of Heaven.  Otherwise they would not receive the graces of God in this life, nor the promised reward of the next life.

    The Gospel was selected to convey the same message, and to take it a step farther.[3]  Our Lord was lamenting the fate of the city of Jerusalem because He knew that even among those Jews who inhabited the land of Israel there would be rejection and infidelity.  And because of this rejection of the Messiah and His Gospel, the city would be destroyed—literally left with not one stone standing on another totally flattened! (Except for a portion of the Temple wall.)

    The message here is that if we court temptation and yield to it, even those of us who have practiced the Catholic Faith all of our lives can put ourselves in danger of eternal destruction.  We are reminded that our salvation is something that must be worked out over the entire course of our lifetime—it is not a onetime thing that we can do and just forget about.

    So, it might do us some good to examine this problem of temptation.  After all the temptations of the Israelites were not much different than our own—they had their lusts, and their complaints against each other, and some times they were tempted to despair and lose their faith—it is an immemorial problem.

    But Saint Paul provides us with a bit of hope.  He promises that if we cooperate with the graces He gives us, God will not permit us to be tempted beyond our strength to resist  He will always give us a means of coping.

    Obviously, He expects us to do our part;  to avoid unnecessary temptations by avoiding those persons and places and things that might lead us to sin, particularly when it is not necessary for us to deal with them;  The idea here is that we can cope best with temptation by doing our best not to get ourselves tempted.   He expects us not to take delight in the temptations we do undergo. And He expects us to remain in the state of grace through frequent Confession and Communion.

    We would also do well to remember that temptation, in and of itself, is not sinful.  Temptations appeal to our normal human instincts in order to stimulate our emotions.  If they go no farther than that, they simply tell us that our minds and bodies are still working.  In fact we might think of those emotions as a sort of warning alarm, designed to remind us to back away from the source of temptation.  [When your heartbeat goes up, and you can feel your ears turning red, it is time to start thinking about what you are doing—before it is too late.]

    Finally, we ought to be aware that when we conquer those temptations that come our way, we are doing something that is positively good in the eyes of God.  When we are tempted, and then choose a good path of behavior instead of a bad path of behavior, we are doing something meritorious; essentially demonstrating that our love of God is stronger than our evil inclinations.

    So, lest we be like the money changers whom Our Lord chased out of the temple, or like the inhabitants of Jerusalem when the Roman legions came through town;  let us all be sure to remain in the state of grace, avoid the unnecessary occasions of sin, not take delight in the temptations we do undergo, and train our emotions to warn us of impending trouble.  And, always do try to take the path that leads toward God  and do it for the love of God.  For only in this way can we take something that might cause us to lose our souls and turn it into an eternity of glory with God in the promised land of heaven.




Dei via est íntegra


Our Lady of the Rosary, 144 North Federal Highway (US#1), Deerfield Beach, Florida 33441  954+428-2428
Authentic  Catholic Mass, Doctrine, and Moral Teaching -- Don't do without them -- 
Don't accept one without the others!