Defeat The Cunning Satan!

Weekly Missionary Reflection
2nd week of Lent, 05 March 2023

Gen. 12:1-4a; Ps. 33:4-5,18-19,20,22; 2Tim. 1:8b-10; Matt. 17:1-9

Dear beloved missionaries,

We are entering the second week of Lent. It is still a long way to Easter. Yes, indeed it is very far away, like passing through a dangerous and steep path with a ravine on both right and left sides towards the peak of a mountain. We are now indeed led by Jesus up to a high mountain, to “Tabor Mount” with Peter, James, and John. We learn from the Gospel that on Tabor Mount Jesus was transfigured: “His face shone like the sun and his clothes became white as light.” The hard and exhausting journey of the three disciples was “paid” with magnificent grace. They were granted with witnessing the glory of Jesus.

Lent is the path to repentance. Lent is the journey of commitment that demands self-emptying, discipline, and alertness. Like climbing a mountain, we will slip and fall down if we are not careful, and so is the spiritual journey of Lent. We do abstinence and fasting, recite prayers and read the Bible, practice penance, and give alms. Angel rejoices with us, however, satan will intensely tempt us. The temptation varies from material things like eating and drinking to non-material things like our words, deeds, feeling, emotion, thoughts, minds, and souls. Satan loves our weakness, he will always tempt and get into ourselves to poison us through our weaknesses. Those who love eating will be tempted by food. Those who get angry easily will be tempted by things that create their anger. The lazy ones will be offered excuses to justify their laziness. For the tempered ones satan will bring the penny, peanut, and negative things into their heart so that those bad things dwell in them. Apart from our weaknesses, satan also loves our advantage and strength. He is very creative in tempting and defeating us. For those with talent, strength, advantage, and skill satan will lead them to arrogance. For those with full authority, satan will take them to arrogance, disrespecting the weak, making them arbitrary, and using their power for personal gain. For those faithful, speaking in their tongue, having the superior or dramatic spiritual experience, satan will use this “spiritual advantage” as a convenient hiding place from the reality and adversity of life that should be faced and accounted for.

So let’s take the two paths as told in today’s Gospel. The first path is “listen to Him”. This is the voice from the cloud (God’s commandment) to Peter, James, and John when Jesus transfigured on Tabor Mount. His invitation is clear, listen to Christ more sensitively and intensively. The Lord speaks through His words in mass, worship, and sacraments. If we can not attend the daily mass, we can ponder the daily reading from the Bible or the internet. The Lord also speaks through events and our neighbors especially those in need. Listening to Christ is listening to our neighbors in need.

The second path is not hiding behind religiosity containing extraordinary events and dramatic experiences, because of the fear of facing the reality, daily struggle, and its adversity. The Lord rebuked those three disciples when they were stunned seeing Him transfigure, “Rise and do not be afraid.” Now He repeats His words to us. He walks with us. Therefore, let’s go down into the valley, to the dynamic reality of life. May Lent as a graceful moment strengthen and lead us to experience His divine majesty. ***NW

(RD. M Nur Widipranoto- National Director of Pontifical Mission Society)

DAILY DEDICATED PRAYER


Lord, our Father, I present my today prayer, thought, word, work, joy, and sorrow in unity with Your Son, Jesus Christ, who always presents Himself in the Eucharist for the salvation of the world. May the Holy Spirit animating Jesus, also be my guidance and strength today so that I am ready to be the witness of Your love.

Together with St. Mary, Mother of Jesus, and the Church, in particular, I present my prayer for our Pope and apostle prayer of the Indonesian Church of this month:

For victims of abuse
We pray for those who have suffered harm from members of the Church; may they find within the Church herself a concrete response to their pain and suffering.

Churching by encountering
We pray that the member of the church rise and be active in ecclesiastical worship and eucharistic celebrations so that church life can be lived as a real encounter, presence, and social fraternity.

Amen

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