Tag Archives: temptation

1st Sunday of Lent: Be with me Lord when I am in trouble

Helping Hand 2

Study: Reflect on a moment when you were in a critical need.  What pulled you through?

Pray: Ask the Lord for grace regarding a difficult situation.

Serve:  How can you be a helping hand to another?

Mass Readings – 1st Sunday of Lent

Let’s take a look at these readings that help us kick off Lent:

  • 1st Reading – a recap of how God saved the Israelites in Egypt
  • Psalm – “Be with me, Lord, when I am in trouble.”
  • 2nd Reading – “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
  • Gospel – Jesus overcomes the Devil’s 3 temptations

Have you ever been in trouble?  Serious trouble?  End of your rope?  Lost?  Confused?  Abandoned?  Scared?  Feeling like you cannot breathe because the air has gone out of your chest?  Feeling utterly alone?

You’re in good company.  People of faith for over 3000 years have called upon the Lord in their darkest moments – seeking guidance and strength.

And God provides.  We don’t have to look very hard to find examples of pain and suffering, hardship and loss, struggle, catastrophe and sin.  We also know that there are no promises that life will be easy and free from pain.  What we know is simple:  God walks with us and sustains us in our moments of need.

Of course this is only a half truth – God walks with us always!  God never leaves us, but for some very human reason we seem to call out loud and strong when we recognize our need for the Lord.  Isn’t it odd that we “get it” when we are in need…that many of us who dedicate our lives to Christ see much more clearly when the truth is self-evident?

Perhaps not.  Perhaps what this first week of Lent shows us is that our need for God (always present in our lives) is most easily observed when we cannot hide from our need.  For when we are in trouble, we are confronted with the clear and obvious reality that it is only with the Lord’s grace that we can be guided and sustained.  In the times of our testing we discover both our limitations and the Lord’s love.

What are you facing in your life right now?  What requires your own personal admission and acceptance of Christ’s mercy?  Be with me, Lord, when I am in trouble!

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If you are looking for more material to help you this Lent, you might consider this list of presentations I have offered over the last couple of years.  Feel free to check it out and share if you find it helpful:

Podcast Resources for getting the most out of Lent

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Note: this post was first published on February 9, 2016.


Daily Mass: Temptation, Sin and Forgiveness. Catholic Inspiration

The temptation and sin of Adam and Eve highlights the reality of evil in our lives.  Yet as we embrace the hope that we have in Jesus we acknowledge our need for God’s mercy and return to the Lord.

Mass Readings – Friday of the 5th Week of the Year

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Catholic Inspiration Archives


26th Sunday of the Year: Confronting the darkness in our hearts. Catholic Inspiration

The people in the readings were tempted, even as they were striving to follow God.  They show us that we need to be vigilant against temptation as we engage our faith in Christ with the support of one another.

Mass Readings – 26th Sunday of the Year

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Catholic Inspiration Archives


Daily Mass: Building up the Church in the face on an attack. Catholic Inspiration

Poor St. Peter!  One minute he is named by Jesus as the rock upon which the Church will be built, and the next minute he is chastised by the Lord for falling prey to temptation.  Welcome to the spiritual life!  Yet this spiritual battle of building up and tearing down is part of our journey of faith, inviting us to always keep our focus on Christ.

Mass Readings – Thursday of the 18th Week of the Year

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Archive of Fr. Andrew’s Podcasts


10th Sunday of the Year: The problem is sin, the solution is Christ. Catholic Inspiration

Our faith acknowledges the presence and power of sin in our world today.  Temptation is all around us, working to ensnare us and lead us astray.  The solution?  Jesus comes into our world to free us from the chains of sin and lead us into the grace that only God can provide.

Mass Readings – 10th Sunday of the Year

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Archive of Fr. Andrew’s Podcasts


Daily Mass: The Lord’s Prayer. Catholic Inspiration

Mass Readings – Thursday of the 11th Week of the Year

The Lord’s Prayer is a powerful tool for the Christian life.  At 55 words this gift from Jesus provides us with key insights about how we follow the Lord with all our heart.  Pray it today; pray it frequently!

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Archive of Fr. Andrew’s Podcasts


Daily Mass: Betrayal and Denial. Catholic Inspiration

Mass Readings – Tuesday of Holy Week

The situation is intense at the Last Supper as Judas prepares to betray Jesus, and Peter’s boast is met with the foreshadowing that he will deny Christ three times.  As we prepare for the Sacred Triduum we pause to reflect on the moments when we have betrayed or denied the Lord, asking God for mercy when we have sinned.

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Archive of Fr. Andrew’s Podcasts

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Photo credit: The Passion of the Christ, 2004.


Daily Mass: Drive out evil. Catholic Inspiration

Mass Readings – Thursday of the 3rd Week of Lent

The Lord drives out a demon in the Gospel today, reminding us that while evil is present in the world we continue to call upon God for the grace we need to drive out whatever is not fitting in our hearts for the Kingdom of God.

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Archive of Fr. Andrew’s Podcasts


1st Sunday of Lent: Facing Temptation. Catholic Inspiration

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Mass Readings – 1st Sunday of Lent

Temptation is a part of life, and the fall of Adam & Eve remind us that we encounter temptations each day as a result of sin.  We have hope, however, for the triumph of Jesus over the temptations of Satan inspires us to return to the Lord when we fail and seek the grace we need to flourish.

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Archive of Fr. Andrew’s Podcasts

 


1st Sunday of Lent: Facing our temptations

jesus-wilderness

Study:  When in life have you been profoundly tempted?  What patterns do you notice in your life?

Pray:  The temptations we face provide a special place in our prayers; bring them to the Lord!

Serve:  How can you support others who are tempted so that they can face them with grace?

Mass Readings – 1st Sunday of Lent

We enter into the great season of Lent with classic readings about temptation, sin and God’s grace:

  • 1st Reading – The temptation of Adam & Eve
  • Psalm – “Be merciful, O Lord, for we have sinned.”
  • 2nd Reading – The sin of Adam is redeemed by Christ
  • Gospel – The devil tempts Jesus…and fails

First, let me be perfectly clear:  Temptation is a part of the landscape of human life.  From the time of our first parents at the dawn of creation, humanity has experienced temptation.  We can wish all we want, but the fact remains that we are constantly facing great and small temptations throughout the course of our lives.

What’s more, we have all experienced times when temptation has led us to sin.  Being tempted is one thing; falling into sin is another.  For once sin is a part of our lives, our souls are wounded in a way that requires God’s grace to cleanse and heal.

This awareness of temptation and sin can easily lead us to a state of despair.  We can fall into the trap that says “Well, you messed up.  What’s the point now?  You might as well just give up.” Admittedly, the devil would like nothing better than to let us think that there is no hope…that we are lost and without strength to find our way out of the messes of life.

Yet we start our Lent with hope.  Yes, we acknowledge that temptation and sin are real, but we take comfort that this is why Jesus Christ came – to break the bondage of sin, restore our relationships with God and one another, and lead us into eternal life.  The Lord knew about temptation first hand, yet not only did he triumph over Satan’s testing, but he freed us through his death and resurrection.

In our moments of temptation and sin may we run to the Cross of Christ!  As we encounter our own trials may we trust that the Lord stands ready to offer us help and strength – both to face what comes before us this day, and to heal us in our moments of need.

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Podcast Resources for a Powerful Lent

Archive of Fr. Andrew’s Podcasts