3 temptations

There is a difference between temptation and sin. Temptation is a kind of test or trial, in which man is free to choose to be faithful or unfaithful to God. It is not a sin to be tempted. However, when a person is tempted and chooses to be unfaithful to God, whether in thought, word or deed, then that person commits a sin.

Jesus overcame each one of the devil’s temptations. How did Jesus overcome the devil’s temptations?

First temptation:

  • Satan: “If you are the Son of God, command that these stones become loaves of bread.” (Mt 4:3)
  • Jesus: “It is written: ‘One does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes forth from the mouth of God.” (Mt 4:4)
  • At that time, Jesus was very hungry, but He did not give in to the first temptation. Jesus overcame the first temptation by self-denial and detachment from material things.
  • People are often tempted to give in to the desires of the flesh. In many situations, people are tempted to excessive eating and drinking, and to drug abuse. In other situations, people are tempted to give up things that bring pleasure, even when they are trying to practice self-denial. Detachment from worldly things is a form of the virtue of fortitude, which increases a person’s resistance to giving in to the desires of the flesh.

Second temptation:

  • Satan: “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down. For it is written: ‘He will command his angels concerning you’ and ‘with their hands they will support you, lest you dash your foot against a stone.” (Mt 4:6)
  • Jesus: “You shall not put the Lord, your God, to the test.” (Mt 4:7)
  • Jesus overcame the second temptation by resisting the temptation of putting God to the test.
  • Do we test God? One common way in which people test God is when a person prays for the wrong reasons. An example is when a person offers many prayers or donates to a charity in exchange for a favor from God. When these seemingly good actions are done for the wrong reason, then a person puts God to the test. First of all, people cannot make deals with God, because if they do, they treat God like a merchant. Although we ought to pray for our needs, it is entirely up to God to answer our prayers in His time and in His way. Secondly, prayer is a means for the faithful to become open and accepting of God’s will in our lives. Even though God may not give us what we ask for, it is through prayer that we grow deeper in faith and trust in God.

Third temptation:

  • Satan: “All these I shall give to you, if you will prostrate yourself and worship me. (Mt 4:9)
  • Jesus: “Get away, Satan! It is written: ‘The Lord, your God, shall you worship and him alone shall you serve.” (Mt 4:10)
  • Jesus overcame the third temptation by rejecting the devil.
  • The devil was giving Jesus the whole world, so that everyone on earth will be under His rule. In other words, the devil is offering to Jesus a plan to save the world by forced rule. In that case, Jesus wouldn’t have to die on the Cross to save the world from sin and death. The devil was tempting Jesus to go against the Father’s plan of salvation. But Jesus would remain obedient to the Father’s will. In many situations, people are tempted by the devil to take the easy way out so that people can be lead to sin. Jesus shows us that we too, must reject the devil, because God’s way is the only right way.

On the other hand, Adam and Eve gave in to the devil’s temptations: Eve saw that the tree was good for food, pleasing to the eyes, and desirable for gaining wisdom. So she took some of its fruit and ate it; and she also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. (Gn 3:6)

  • Adam and Eve were attracted to the tree. They became attached to the material things offered by the tree, which includes pleasures to mind and body.
  • In disobeying God, Adam and Eve chose to do their own will, not God’s.
  • Adam and Eve put the tree of the knowledge of good and evil before God, thereby putting God aside and making the tree their god.

St. Paul: “For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so, through the obedience of the one, the many will be made righteous.” (Rom 5:19) Where Adam and Eve failed, Jesus Christ overcame the temptations of the devil. Whenever we doubt that we can overcome the devil’s temptations, we only have to call out to Jesus for help.

The Lenten Retreat (in Chinese) will take place on March 7, 2020 beginning at 1pm. The theme of the retreat will be “Enter the desert, know yourself, renew life, rise with Christ!”All are invited to attend.

Pastoral Council meets today at 12:30pm. Finance Council meets today at 1:30pm.

Safety precautions from Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Ways in which the coronavirus can spread:

  1. Person-to-person: The virus spreads mainly from person-to-person, between people who are in close contact with one another, and through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.
  2. Contact with infected surfaces or objects: It is possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, eyes or face.

Safety precautions you can take:

  1. Since the coronavirus can spread from asymptomatic persons, maintain social distancing, and avoid large gatherings in compact spaces. Especially avoid anyone showing symptoms of respiratory illness, such as coughing and sneezing.
  2. Since the coronavirus can remain alive on infected surfaces, if possible, avoid touching surfaces in public areas and do not touch your face, eyes, mouth or nose without disinfecting your hands.
  3. Wash your hands often with soap and water.
  4. Avoid unnecessary travel.
  5. Stay home if you don’t feel well. If you have a fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical attention immediately.

Additional instructions when in church:

  1. Please use hand sanitizers located the entrance of the church.
  2. Avoid handshaking during the sign of peace. Simply nod or bow.

Note: It is not necessary to wear masks to church. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says it “does not recommend that people, who are well, to wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including COVID-19. Facemasks should be used by people who show symptoms of COVID-19 to help prevent the spread of the disease to others.”

During the Offertory, please drop your contribution for the Archbishops Annual Appeal in the collection baskets. Please use the special envelopes for the Annual Appeal and make checks payable to HNOJ and write “Annual Appeal” in the memo.

Fr. Bill will offer Lenten Novena Masses from March 9 to 17. These nine Masses will be offered each day for all the intentions of parishioners of our church. Please write your intentions on a slip of paper and drop them off in the prayer box.