Moments

Pray and flee!

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The story is told about two men drinking at a bar. One of them said: “Alcohol is not the enemy. It’s the ice.” The other one asked: “Why do you say that?” The first man said: “Vodka and ice will ruin your kidneys. Rum and ice will ruin your liver. Whisky and ice will ruin your heart. Gin and ice will ruin your brain. Apparently, ice is the common denominator. So, ice is the enemy!”

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In today’s Gospel (Lk. 4, 1-13), Jesus was tempted by the devil for 40 days. Using lies and half-truths, and taking advantage of Jesus’ weak physical condition, the evil one used all the tricks he had in his book to break Jesus’ spirit, but to no avail. Why? Because Jesus was “filled by the Holy Spirit” and He was “led by the Spirit.” The flesh weakens us, but the Spirit empowers us.

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Even Jesus was tempted. There is no person so good and holy that is exempted from temptation. Temptation is a bait which we may or may not bite. The devil never shows the hook. He knows how to hide it, and exactly where and when to place it. Remember, he is the master of lies and deceit. On our own, we cannot beat him. So let us be vigilant, and in humility, pray, or just flee.

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Love comes in the most unexpected places, so they say. Sin, too. And it all starts with a possibility which soon becomes a probability, and which soon becomes a reality if we do not pray and just flee! So at the very first instance of sin, don’t give an inch, because an inch can become a foot, a meter, and before you know it, you are already “there.”

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Are there people who are free of temptation? Yes, there are—those who give in as soon as temptation comes, or who even look for temptation. In the “Our Father,” we pray to the Lord to lead us not into temptation, but more often than not, it is ourselves who voluntarily seek temptation.

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The resignation of Pope Benedict XVI from the papacy should be a good reminder to people who are tempted by power and fame. Here is a man who, in honesty and humility, has accepted his limitations to continue in his position and office. What a contrast to our politicians who cling to their positions of power. And perpetuate their family and kin! Hello! Public servants? Or public thieves and tyrants?

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Pope Benedict is a man of prayer. He listens to His Master whom he serves. A decision of such depth and magnitude could only have been made by a man who constantly and regularly knows how to bend his knees before his God in prayer. The call of this world is loud, and the lights of this world are bright. May we continue to hear His call, and to see His light in all decisions in this life. Let us continue to pray for Pope Benedict, for our future pope, and for our Mother Church.

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Today is National Migrants’ Sunday. We remember and pray for people who leave home, country, culture and family, and are exposed to all sorts of danger, deprivation, injustice, and temptation. We acknowledge their work and sacrifice. As we celebrate Migrants’ Sunday, may the Season of Lent remind us that we are not immigrants in this world. Our stay on earth is short, temporary. Our final home and destination is heaven.

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Lolong, the biggest crocodile in the world, has died. Yes, crocodiles die. And so will our “national crocodiles”! At least Lolong stopped eating when he was already full. Not our national crocodiles. Lolong, we heard, earned money for the people. Not our national crocodiles.

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Let us learn from Jesus that the best way to prepare for our spiritual warfare is by way of prayer and fasting. As we discipline our bodies, we experience true freedom from sin, and are able to go out and reach out to people, especially to those in need. For Lent, remember AFP—Alms giving, Fasting and Prayer.

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The 25th Eucharistic Congress with the theme “The Holy Eucharist in the Year of Faith” will be held at the Pink Sisters’ Convent on Doña Hemady Avenue, Quezon City, on March 9 (8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.). The invited speakers are Fr. Apolinario Ty, SSS, Archbishop Angel Lagdameo, DD, and Luis Cardinal Antonio Tagle, DD, who will also preside over the 4:30 p.m. Holy Mass. Most Rev. Honesto Ongtioco, DD, will lead the procession and benediction of the Blessed Sacrament. For inquiries, please call 722-8828/092-6869348.

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Inviting you to join a pilgrimage to the Holy Land on March 12-21 and on April 2-11. Also inviting you to join a spiritual journey to France and Spain on May 15-27, which will include a visit to Marian shrines at La Salette, Lourdes, Barcelona, Montserrat, Lisieux, Nevers, Manressa and Paray le Monial. For inquiries, please contact (02) 523-8581 to 88 or (02) 721-7457, or e-mail pilgrimage@execres.com.ph.

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Bantay Matanda invites you to a lay forum on common skin diseases in the elderly at Janssen Hall of Christ the King Seminary, E. Rodriguez Blvd. Ext., Quezon City, on Feb. 23, Saturday, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. For inquiries, please call 373-2262 / 998-2548 or 0917-4167849.

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A moment with the Lord:

Lord, when tempted, help me to just pray and flee. Amen.

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