YOU ARE MINE
There’s a battle going on in the lives of each of us, a battle going on FOR the lives of each of us, a battle between good and evil. At the end of that battle, in the next life, we will hear either Jesus say, “you are mine” or hear Satan say, “you are mine.” Through Jesus dying on the cross, He has already won the battle but it’s up to us now to accept His grace and live as those redeemed by Jesus. There are examples of grace and examples of evil all around us but we can take the side of Jesus in the battle for our lives by overcoming sin and temptation.
How do we overcome sin and temptation? In our Gospel Jesus said: if your hand should cause you to sin cut it off; if your eye should cause you to sin, tear it out.
Now, Jesus was talking symbolically of course. In the time of Jesus, it was common to speak in this exaggerated way, to make a point. If something is leading us into temptation and we sin, we then should avoid it. We call this avoiding occasions of sin. When Jesus says to cut off our hand or pluck out our eye if it causes us to sin, He is telling us to avoid whatever it is that leads us on to commit sin. Jesus is wanting us to reflect on our lives to see if anything is leading us in the wrong direction and if so, to take steps to correct it. Personally, I very much know where my weakness is, and I know it’s a fight I can win.
An occasion of sin in most of our lives is what’s called the entertainment that is on our TVs or in other media such as the internet. Various sins are presented as being glamorous which could slowly break down our defenses and then, we think it is okay to sin. It’s no wonder that St. Mother Teresa of Calcutta is reported as saying about the TV, “we have a tabernacle to Jesus in our Church and now we have a tabernacle to Satan in our home.” If she were speaking today, she might say the same about the internet. There’s nothing wrong or evil with being entertained, we just need to be very careful what ourselves and especially our children are being entertained with these days.
Apart from avoiding occasions of sin, we can also strengthen ourselves against evil in many ways. We can always use prayer to overcome the sin that is in our daily lives. The greatest prayer is what we are doing right now….the Mass. That’s why attending Mass every week is so important, even Daily Mass if it’s possible. When the Holy Eucharist is held up to me at Communion time and I say “Amen” and we all need to say “Amen” before receiving the Host…I’m saying I believe, I believe Jesus is truly present in that Host, to provide me the guidance and the support in all my weaknesses I know I will face in my days ahead. Some people call the Eucharist only a symbol. A symbol is not going to protect me…but the God of the Universe WILL and THAT is Who I am looking at when that Host is held up! Let that image of the Eucharist come to your mind the next time you are being tempted to sin!
Reading the Bible is also a great remedy against temptation. There we encounter God’s words to us, His love letter to us. We celebrated “Word of God” Sunday three weeks ago, but that is also every Sunday also! Attend Adoration on Wednesdays. Here at St. Andrew’s…our sign ups sheets are beginning to really suffer. If Adoration is going to continue here…we need help, especially in the afternoon!
The Holy Rosary is a powerful weapon against Satan as well. Every Rosary we pray, even every Hail Mary we say is another hit on the head to the Devil. If we only understood the strength of the Rosary, the Devil’s power would be finished. I encourage you to take up the Rosary again if you have neglected praying it. You claim that You don’t have time to pray the Rosary? Say it in your car on your way to work or home instead of having music playing. Pray the Rosary on your lunch, while doing your daily chores, while exercising, before you go to bed, and especially when you are being tempted by that one sin that just won’t go away in your life. I’m sure you what your one sin is that you struggle with the most. Satan knows about that sin but he is also well aware of the Rosary’s power….are you? Let our Blessed Mother take you to her Son.
Holy Water is a strong sacramental that helps protect us from evil. Keep some Holy Water in your homes, have some nearby wherever you are tempted, dip your fingers in it and make the Sign of the Cross. In the world today, we all need every bit of the protection we can get!
The battle between good and evil for our souls is very. much. real. In today’s Gospel, Jesus is not wanting us to cause harm to our bodies, He is asking us to reflect on our lives. He wants us to discover what is leading us in the wrong direction. We then need to take the steps to resolve and then remove those occasions of sin. Jesus wants us to live in His grace. Why? Because, one day, God willing, we will look at Our Lord face to face and hear Him, very lovingly say to us: “You are mine.”