Standing The Test
When confronted with temptation, we might ask ourselves why our heavenly Father is tempting us. Why would God allow this temptation at a time when we are feeling so weak and vulnerable? However, St. James (1: 12 - 18), tells us that we are asking the wrong question because our God does not tempt anyone.
"Happy the man who perseveres to the end through trial! Once he has been proved, he will receive the crown of life the Lord has promised to those who love him. No one who is tempted is free to say, "I am being tempted by God." Surely God, who is beyond the grasp of evil, tempts no one. Rather the tug and lure of his own passion tempt every man. Once passion has conceived, it gives birth to sin and when sin reaches maturity, it begets death. Make no mistake about this, my dear brothers. Every worthwhile gift, every genuine benefit comes from above, descending from the Father of heavenly lights who cannot change and who is never shadowed over. He wills to bring us to birth with a word spoken in truth, so that we may be a kind of first fruits of his creatures."
Compare yesterday's Scriptural citation with today's reading. Does there seem to be some contradiction between the two as to whether or not God tempts people? What is the difference between trials, which were mentioned in yesterday's reading, and temptations which are presented in today's reading? Does this difference clear up the apparent contradiction?
With forbidden pleasures should this vain world charm
or its tempting treasures spread to work me harm,
bring to my remembrance sad Gethsemane
or in darker semblance, Cross-crowned Calvary.