Rev. Bob Zilliox Sunday Reflection
Through his cross, Jesus has won the battle but it is up to us now to accept his grace and live as those redeemed by Jesus. Now, there are manifestations of grace and manifestations of evil around us but we can take the side of Jesus in the battle for our lives by overcoming sin and temptation. How do we do it?
Jesus tells us, “ If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off; it is better for you to enter life crippled than to have two hands and go into hell… if your foot should cause you to sin cut it off; it is better for you to enter into life lame than to have two feet and be thrown into hell… if your eye should cause you to sin, tear it out; it is better for you to enter into the kingdom of God with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into hell…”
Now, Jesus was speaking metaphorically here. In Palestine at that time it was common to speak in this exaggerated way to make a point, we would call it Hyperbole. But if something is leading us into temptation and sin then we should avoid it. We call this avoiding occasions of sin. When Jesus says to cut off our hand or foot or pluck out our eye if it causes us to sin he is asking us to avoid whatever it is that leads us to commit sin. Jesus is asking us to reflect on our lives to see if anything is leading us in the wrong direction and if so to take the steps to remedy it.
Perhaps for some people alcohol is an occasion of sin, because it leads to committing sin. All of the trash on the television, in print, or in the media because they often represent various sins as glamorous, which eventually break down our defenses and then we begin to think it is okay. Apart from avoiding occasions of sin we can also strengthen ourselves against evil in many ways.
We can pray to overcome evil. The greatest prayer is the Mass. Reading Sacred Scripture is also a great remedy because there we encounter God’s word to us, his love letter to us. Our Lady has repeatedly told us in many of her apparitions that the Rosary is a great weapon against Satan. Holy Water is a powerful sacramental that helps protect us from evil. When a priest blesses Holy Water, he asks God to protect us from evil when we use the Holy Water.
My sisters and brothers in Christ, there is a battle going on in the lives of each of us, a battled going on for the lives of each of us, a battle between good and evil. Through his cross Jesus has won the battle but it is up to us now to accept his grace and live as those redeemed by Jesus. Jesus is asking us to reflect on our lives to see if anything is leading us in the wrong direction and if so, to take steps to remedy occasions of sin and live in the grace of Jesus so that we may hear him say to us at the end of time, “You are Mine!” ……………..+JMJ……………… Fr. Bob!!!