Tuesday of the 22 week in ordinary time ‘b’
Evil is real, Satan is real, and temptations are real. We all deal with temptations. When any of us are tempted, the devil will try to convince you by alluring suggestions: do this or that, nobody will even know, or this will be the last time, you would enjoy it and then that’s it, or the devil will try to convince you that something morally wrong is not bad at all. And then you start thinking about it, perhaps getting into an argument with the devil, or you let him talk to you --and that’s how you lose. With evil and its temptations, you need to be very firm and very brief- no arguing, no thinking, no letting him convince you, but briefly and forcefully tell him, NO! That’s it. Go away! This is exactly what Jesus does: “In the synagogue there was a man with the spirit of an unclean demon, and he cried out in a loud voice, what have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? have you come to destroy us?” You can see what demon does, he tries to get into a conversation with Jesus but what Jesus does? He simply said: “Be quiet! Come out of him!”- very brief and firm- just come out! No more conversation. This is exactly how we need to deal with temptations.