temptation

“do not let us fall in temptation”

this is the english translation that pope francis had proposed last summer to amend the “our father” prayer. God does not “lead us not into temptation” but helps us not fall when we are tempted. in the context of the Lord’s prayer, we might be tempted NOT to participate in that for which we pray: not respecting God’s name as holy; not wanting God’s kingdom; not doing God’s will; not trusting God provides for our daily bread; not forgiving as we have been forgiven.

we are tempted NOT to love others. we are tempted not to care. we are tempted not to act in self giving ways. we are tempted to be selfish. temptation gets us off the right relational path with God and one another.

in the usa, we can see primarily our sins as individual. indeed we all sin individually. rarely will we view sin as some that WE do collectively. but that is what WE pray for when we say the Lord’s prayer: that we do these things together and that we receive blessings together. Jesus prayer is about US; WE do these desires of the heart together. we bring our individual sins to our relationships and our connection with others can help us to sin collectively– we sin together and we make it easier for others, and myself, to not love.

in jesus’ temptation from the devil in the wilderness we can see how our world still tempts us not to trust ultimately in God but to depend on our own wealth and power. when we do this, we give evil the power in our lives. how often does this happen because and through my connection with others? do i realize how others in various groups affect me NOT to act in love?

do i accept without reflection what people in my own race or culture say is right/wrong? do i just follow along with what my political party says to do? do i stay quiet at work or at home when i see something wrong in order to keep the peace with my coworkers or in my family?

when i pray “do not let us fall in temptation”, i am praying for God to help us resist the social sin among us. we pray that we may choose love instead of what harms others and my relationship with them.

in our catholic faith, the social teachings of the church ( http://usccb.org/beliefs-and-teachings/what-we-believe/catholic-social-teaching/index.cfm ) aid us in this common desire. and we need all the help we can get!

“do not let us fall in temptation” are dangerous words to say. but they bring us life and help us to love more authentically. WE not just I; US not just me.

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