Vatican City ( AsiaNews) - The temptation , that "grows, infects and justifies itself", "does not come from God", but from our passions, with which the devil "imprisons us", and from which we are freed only "when we listen to the Word of Jesus", said Pope Francis at Mass this morning in Casa Santa Marta. During his homily the Pope emphasized that Jesus always gives us "confidence" and opens us up to horizons wider than our limitations.
Vatican Radio reports that the Pope reaffirmed a truth and a sequence described by St. James in a passage of his Letter, proposed by the liturgy of the day. The truth is that God never tempts man, rather it is his passions. The sequence, according to the Apostle is when each person is "when lured and enticed by his desire. Then desire conceives and brings forth sin, and when sin reaches maturity it gives birth to death".
"Where does temptation come from? How does it act within us? The Apostle tells us that it is not from God, but from our desires, our inner weaknesses, from the wounds of original sin: these temptations, these passions come from there. It is curious, temptation has three characteristics: it grows infects and justifies itself. It grows: it begins with an appearance of calm , and grows ... Jesus himself said this when he spoke of the parable of wheat and weeds, the wheat grew, but the weeds sown by the enemy too. Temptation grows: it grows , it grows ... and if one does not stop it, it takes over everything".
In addition, temptation "needs company, its contagious" and "grows and infects, temptation imprisons us in an environment that it is difficult to escape from". This is the experience of the apostles narrated in the Gospel of the day, which sees the Twelve blame each other under the eyes of the Master for not having brought bread on board the boat. Jesus, maybe smiling at the quarrel, invites them to beware "the leaven of the Pharisees, of Herod". But the Apostles continue in their quarrel, without listening, "so closed in on the issue of whose fault it was that they had not brought bread, that they had no space, they had no time, they had no light for the Word of God."
"Thus, when we are tempted, we do not hear the Word of God: we do not listen. We do not understand. Jesus had to remind them of the multiplication of the loaves to liberate them from that environment, because temptation imprisons us, it takes away any ability of foresight, it closes every horizon, and thus leads us to sin. When we are tempted, only the Word of God, the Word of Jesus saves us. Hearing the Word that opens up horizons ... He is always willing to teach us how to escape from temptation. Jesus is great not only because He leads us from temptation, but also because he gives us greater confidence". This confidence is "a great strength, when we are tempted: he Lord waits for us", "He trusts us, we who are so tempted, sinners", "He always opens horizons". "Conversely, by tempting us the devil, closes, closes, closes" and "cultivates" an environment similar to that on the boat with the apostles. Our only possibility to avoid being "imprisoned" by this type of environment, concluded the Pope, is to "listen to the Word of Jesus".
"Let us ask the Lord - who always, as he did with the disciples, with his patience, when we are tempted to say to us: ' Stop, do not worry. Remember what I did with you at that moment, in that time: remember . Raise your eyes, look at the horizon, do not close, do not close in on yourself, go forward'. And this Word will save us from falling into sin at the moment of temptation".