18 February 2018 1 Lent

Homily from Father James Gilhooley
1 Lent
First Sunday of Lent of Year B

Today we have the story of the flood and Noah's ark. It is a wonderful story. And every time we look at a rainbow we are reminded of God's promise. The rainbow-this most beautiful and transient of all things is-as we have heard, a reminder of God's covenant; the close bond he established with us after the great flood. He makes his promise not only to mankind but also to every living creature. Respect for creation is not something new; the creator himself respects the whole of creation more than we ever could. The rainbow is a wonderful sign of God's love because of all its wonderful colours. How does it go? Richard of York Gained Battle In Vain: Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, Violet. All the colours are there and all the grades in between. And there are even colours we can't see. This shows the breadth of God's love. His love covers the whole range of existence and even things we are totally unaware of. In some ancient cultures the rainbow is a sign of a weapon as in a bow and arrow; they say the rainbow is God's bow and the lightning is his arrow. The rainbow for them is a sign of anger, but for us it is a sign of God's love. We do enough things to provoke God's anger, but in this great covenant God says that he will be merciful to us. Although we have sinned he will hold back his anger; instead he will love us all the more.

St Paul sees in this water of the flood a prefigurement of baptism. In baptism we are washed free from our sins. Our baptism becomes a special sign of God's love for us individually. By baptism he singles us out and unites us to himself by a special bond. We are now in Lent and we think about fasting and doing penance. We read in the Gospel about Jesus spending time in the desert--he went there to be tested, and he experienced all kinds of temptations there. He emerged victorious, just as he was to emerge victorious after the greatest test of all--his passion and death on the Cross. The account of the temptation we are given in the Gospel of Mark reads almost like a telegram-it is sounds staccato. There are just two verses compared to the more lengthy and fuller eleven verses of Matthew and thirteen of Luke. Typically the language of Mark is also a lot stronger. In both Matthew and Luke we read that Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert. But that's not strong enough for Mark-no, the Spirit drove Jesus out into the desert. We shouldn't think of this as Jesus not wanting to go and so having to be driven, but rather as underlining the closeness between Jesus and the Spirit. Mark doesn't bother about the content of the various temptations, he simply states the fact bluntly he remained forty days, and was tempted by Satan.

The wild beasts are traditional symbols of evil and like Satan they prowl around looking for any signs of weakness. Surprisingly there is no actual mention of fasting in this desert. But then it is probably not necessary to mention it because that's what you would have to do anyway in a desert, unless you took along a lot of supplies which is most unlikely. There's no 4x4 available to bring in any luxuries. This is a testing. And by enduring it successfully Jesus demonstrates that he is the Messiah. Both Moses and Elijah before him endured such periods of fasting and here in the desert Jesus proves that he is their true heir. The forty days is also a symbolic allusion to the forty years the Chosen People spent in the wilderness being tested by God. They spent those years of wandering in the desert in great adversity but through them learned some very hard lessons. All testing involves privation and suffering. It involves doing without the comforts we are used to whether this be health, little luxuries or emotional supports. If all testing involves suffering then in spiritual terms we can also say that all suffering is a testing. And this is indeed so. In physical suffering we find all sorts of things removed from us that we normally consider essential for our daily life. And not only our health, but also all the comfortable routines and things we have around us. The test is what we put in their place-let us hope that it will be increased faith and trust in God. We can also undergo spiritual suffering when we experience times of doubt and darkness; these are also a testing.

God seems so far away. We find it hard to place ourselves in his presence. We feel uncomfortable when the conversation turns to matters of faith. We sit in Church and wonder if all this isn't a complete waste of time. This is a real testing. The wild beasts are prowling looking for our weaknesses. But as with Jesus the Angels are not far away. They guard us even though we are not conscious of their presence. Any realistic person dreads being put to the test, but it is something we all have to endure. It is an essential element of our pilgrimage of faith. But you notice that even for Jesus it was for a fixed time-forty days. There is always an end. The Church gives us the liturgical season of Lent to help us to endure the time of testing whenever it comes. In Lent we are invited to undergo some small hardship as a spiritual exercise, as a strengthening and a preparation for that real time of testing that awaits us. However, we don't need to go into an actual desert for in a sense we are already in a desert. The world is a desert for it lacks the most essential thing of all-knowledge of God. In the desert we can place ourselves in God's hands relying trustfully upon him. When we are tested we remember those hidden Angels who are not so far away. When we experience these trials we unite ourselves with Christ and ask him to endure the Temptation with us. We then recognise that all these sufferings and difficulties we must endure are part and parcel of the life of a Christian and we know that they are only a sign of the victory that is to come. When we emerge from the desert we enter more fully into the presence of God and it will have all the beauty and more of the rainbow.

Homily from Father Joseph Pellegrino
1 Lent
First Sunday of Lent: The Rainbow and the Hound

This year the first readings for the Sundays of Lent present various covenants. The term covenant means a binding agreement between people, or in the case of Sacred Scripture, between God and His people. Today we have the Covenant God made with the people at the time of Noah, the Covenant of the Rainbow. Next Sunday, we'll hear about the Covenant of Faith made between God and Abraham. Then we'll come upon the Covenant of the Law made with Moses. We'll hear about the Covenant of the Heart prophesied by Jeremiah. This will all lead to the Paschal Mystery and the Blood of the New and Eternal Covenant, the covenant we will renew on our altar in a few minutes. God's actions at the time of Noah are center stage today both in the first reading from Genesis and in the second reading from the First Letter of Peter. In Genesis God saw how wicked mankind had become. Every desire their heart conceived was always nothing but evil, we read in Genesis 6:5. God was going to wipe out all of creation, mankind and all the animals who were scarred with mankind's sins, his abuse of nature. God was going to destroy them all with a flood, but the life of one just man tempered God's wrath. That man was Noah. Noah was righteous and blameless. He walked with God. So, as St. Peter points out, eight of mankind were saved, Noah, his wife, his three sons and their three wives. Water destroyed the evil of Noah's day, but water would become the means of redemption in Jesus' day. Water took away life at the time of Noah.

Water would restore life for those who believe in Jesus Christ. That is why St. Peter wrote, The waters of the flood prefigure the waters of baptism. And God set a bow on the clouds. The bow was a rainbow. It was a sign that God will never again use a flood to destroy all of the creatures of the earth. The rainbow was a sign that God would never give up on his people. God will not give up on mankind. Homilist need to remember this. Sometimes Sunday homilies become a catalogue of the evils of the world. Some priests and deacons pound people with one horrible situation after another to demonstrate the presence of sin in the world. People don't need to come to Church to hear bad news. They can always turn on FOX NEWS, or CNN if that form of insanity is more to their taste. People don't come to Church to hear the bad news. Jesus did not send his disciples out to tell the world the bad news. He sent his disciples out to proclaim the Good News. The Good News, the Gospel, is that God has rescued and is rescuing His people from the clutches of evil. The Good News is that everyone who accepts the baptism of Jesus Christ, and accepting means fulfilling the responsibilities of Christian life, everyone who accepts Jesus Christ will be part of the defeat of evil in the world and will share in the victory of Christ in heaven.

The Good News is that all the negativity that surrounds us and sometimes appears to overwhelm us, all this negativity is only part of the total reality of God's creation. The truth is the world is good because God created it, and He is Good. The truth is people are good because people are made in the image and likeness of God, and He is Good. The truth is that you and I are good because we are sons and daughters of God. And yes, good people can choose to become evil people, but that is their choice. Even the most horrible person to ever live could still reject evil and once more become a good person. The world is not bad. The world is not evil. The rainbow. The rainbow proclaims that God sees the good that is in the world. He will not give up on mankind in general. Nor will He give up on us as individuals. Over a hundred years ago the poet Francis Thompson wrote about God's continual pursuit of him even as he tried his best to avoid God. He called his poem, The Hound of Heaven: Once a hound has a scent, he will not quit the chase. God has our scent. So Thompson wrote: I FLED Him, down the nights and down the days; I fled Him, down the arches of the years; I fled Him, down the labyrinthine ways Of my own mind; and in the mist of tears I hid from Him, and under running laughter. Up vistaed hopes I sped; And shot, precipitated, Adown Titanic glooms of chasmd fears,

From those strong Feet that followed, followed after. But with unhurrying chase, And unperturbed pace, Deliberate speed, majestic instancy, They beat and a Voice beat More instant than the Feet ?All things betray thee, who betrayest Me. The poem goes on to present the many ways that the poet tried to hide from God in the things of the world. It ends with these consoling words from God: Ah, fondest, blindest, weakest, I am He Whom thou seekest! And there is even an explanation for the poet's frustration in life: Thou dravest love from me, who dravest Me." That last line is best understood as: You (the hunted) drove love away from yourself because you have driven my love away. We need to savor the image of God as the Hound of Heaven. He refuses to give up on us, any of us. No matter what our sins, no matter where we try to hide from him, His pursuit is relentless. He refuses to give up on us. What right do any of us have to give up on ourselves?

Are we suffering from an addiction that we keep falling back into? We have to keep fighting it. We can't give up on ourselves. Have we done some thing or things that we still cannot believe we did? Do we let hatred determine our choices? And then we feel rotten. Do we want to throw in the towel and say, "I'm just not any good" I belong with evil people." How dare we say that about someone for whom Jesus Christ died? How dare we say that about ourselves? God will not give up on us. Look at the rainbow. Picture it in your mind. It is beautiful. It is awe-inspiring. It is a sign of God's love and God's mercy. The rainbow is a covenant between God and us. He will never give up on us, any of us. Try to remember this the next time you see a rainbow: God will never give up on me. The word Lent is derived from a Teutonic word meaning Spring. Lent is the time for a new beginning. The rainbow is there. The Hound of Heaven is real. God's love is pursuing us. May we have the determination to begin again. May we have the courage to allow His mercy into our lives.

Homily from Father Phil Bloom
* Available in Spanish - see Spanish Homilies
1 Lent
Finding Hope When Life Hurts Week 1: Boundaries (February 18, 2018)
Bottom line: To find hope when life hurts we need Jesus' help in setting boundaries.

For Lent I am using Finding Hope When Life Hurts. After the death of Sister Barbara these reflections help. Fr. Sica's recommendation for the First Sunday of Lent may at first surprise you. He describes the importance of boundaries. While Christian life means opening to others, it also requires boundaries. Jesus show that in his battle with with Satan. "By setting boundaries," says Fr. Sica, Jesus "rendered the devil powerless." I've experienced a struggle in the past weeks. People ask, "Father, how are you doing?" Well, one thing I notice - I become more easily irritated. Something I would have brushed off, now becomes a big deal. A couple of times I wake angry: some small issue, maybe someone let me down and I'm seething inside. It's seems strange. Here I am face to face with the hugest human reality and yet I'm angry about something petty. I can understand why relationships break apart when a loved one dies. You'd think it would bring a family together; instead they're at each others' throats, perhaps permanently divided. I can appreciate why Fr. Sica says about boundaries are necessary if we're not going to lose everything.

Especially of course boundaries between us and Satan. He wants to absorb us into his rage and destroy relationships, above all the relationship with God. Jesus gives powerful weapons in this war against the Evil One. You know them: prayer, fasting and give. Jesus himself uses those weapons in the struggle against the devil. Most of us tend to pray and give, but we fall down on fasting. I ask you to join me in the Daniel Fast. In the bulletin you'll find a list of foods to avoid as well as those recommended. Join me on the next six Fridays and one other day (or more) during each week of Lent. After you've set aside the Daniel Fast days - according to your individual circumstances - after your's designated those days, then pick out one category of food to avoid every day until Easter, for example, sweets, fried foods, cheese or bread. Fasting and abstinence will strengthen your prayer. In fact, fasting itself will become a prayer offered to God through Jesus. Lent's a good time to experiment with other forms of fasting - like the internet, video games or the news. Don't worry, Donald Trump will be around after Easter even if you turn off the news. You already know the major things you have to pray for: nations at war, Christians who are being persecuted worldwide and the healing of our divided, wounded nation.

The goal of our fasting, prayer and giving is unity with Jesus. On Ash Wednesday I gave a book which may help remove obstacles: The Case for Jesus. It addresses common objections: For example, some say the because the Gospel were transmitted orally before being written down they contain distortions like the Telephone Game. When you form a circle with a dozon people and one person whispers a sentence to next person. By the end the message has completely changed. As the Case for Jesus points out, "the Telephone game 'works' precesisly because it is a trivial parlor game and absolutely no one involved cares a whit about the content of the message that he is communicating. As a counterexample, I would propose the manner in which news of the Kennedy assassination spread from person to person, to all corners of the world. To be sure small distortions and exaggerations occurred along the way, but did anyone anywhere miss the message that the president of the United States, John Kennedy, was shot to death in Dallas on November 22, 1963?" Dr. Brant Pitre shows how the "Telephone game" comparison at first sounds convincing but when you analyze the actual way the Gospels were transmitted, it doesn't hold up. I encourage you to read The Case for Jesus and to offer it to a family member who has questions, for example about the reliability of the Gospel accounts about Jesus. Ultimately of course we're talking about an act of confidence in a person, to be able to say, "Jesus, I trust in you." Next week we'll see a pivotal moment in that relationship.

Today we see that to find hope when life hurts we need Jesus' help in setting boundaries, especially boundaries from the Evil One. Lent began on Valentine's Day. This coincidence tells us to embrace the real meaning of love, not a feeling or an attraction, but a decision, a grace from God to sacrifice one's life for the other. It's good that Ash Wednesday coincided with Valentine's Day. Well, there's an even bigger coincidence: Lent will end on April First. As we'll see, the joke is on Satan. He's super intelligent - much more than any of us - but he lives in self-centered rage. Such a person is readily fooled. For sure he can trick you or me pretty easily. He can draw us into his rage. But then Satan himself is shown up by a man of self-surrender, a man who focused not only himself but on his Father. Stay tuned. Jesus helps to set boundaries, especially to fence off the Evil One. After his 40 days of fasting and prayer he says: "This is the time of fulfillment. The kingdom of God is at hand. Repent and believe in the Gospel." Amen.

Homily from Saint Vincent Archabbey, Latrobe, Pa
Saint Vincent Archabbey
1 Lent
First Sunday of Lent, Classic Mark 1: 12:15

Gospel Summary
The Spirit drives Jesus into the wilderness where he is tempted by Satan. We should recall that this event in Mark's gospel comes immediately after Jesus' baptism in the Jordan. As the heavens are torn open, the Spirit descends upon him, and a voice comes from heaven: "You are my beloved Son" (Mark 1: 11). After the stark, matter-of-fact statement that Jesus was tempted by Satan, Mark tells us that after John's arrest, Jesus begins his mission: "The kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel." (Mark 1: 15) Matthew and Luke in their narratives of the temptations include Jesus' triumph over Satan in a dramatic verbal exchange between them. Mark does not present the temptations in this way because his entire gospel is a narrative of the trials that Jesus undergoes. Satan tempts him to doubt that he is God's beloved Son, and likewise tempts him to betray his mission on behalf of God's kingdom. Satan will use every means to tempt Jesus in order to save his own kingdom that has dominance in the world. Jesus is tempted by his own disciples. "Get behind me, Satan. You are thinking not as God does, but as human beings do," Jesus said to Peter (Mark 8: 33).

He is tested frequently by enemies from among his own people and by the Romans. His own relatives say that he is out of his mind (Mark 3: 21). The most severe temptation comes when he appears to have failed in his mission; he is misunderstood, betrayed, and abandoned by his disciples; he is arrested, undergoes the humiliation and torture associated with a criminal's public execution; and finally he apparently has the experience of being forsaken by God while dying on a cross. Yet, his dying prayer in this dark night of the soul is also a cry of unconquered hope and trust (Mark 15: 34, Psalm 22). The Letter to the Hebrews reveals the good news that the triumph of Jesus over the most severe temptations imaginable can be a source of hope and trust in the trials that we undergo. "For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who has similarly been tested in every way, yet without sin" (Mark 4: 15). "Because he himself was tested through what he suffered, he is able to help those who are being tested" (Mark 2: 18). Life Implications No one with the consciousness of freedom escapes the testing that reveals where the heart's true treasure lies. Only the incidentals of the testing differ for each of us. The heroes of faith down to the present day triumph over their trials because they share the single-minded, childlike faith of Jesus. Jesus in his human consciousness and freedom loved God with all his heart, and with all his soul, and with all his strength (Deuteronomy 6: 5).

A person with a divided heart, on the other hand, easily fails in a test of faith, and particularly in a trial of suffering constantly asks God, Why? Further, the double-minded person demands some evidence of God's presence and care. The life-implication of Mark's gospel is that we must pray as Jesus prayed if we hope to love God as he did with an undivided heart when our time of trial is upon us. Like Jesus before his great trial in the garden of Gethsemane, we may pray that if possible the hour of trial might pass by us. Nevertheless, with the power of his Spirit we must also pray: "Abba, Father, all things are possible to you. Take this cup away from me, but not what I will but what you will"(Mark 14: 36). Jesus then said to Peter, "Simon, are you asleep" (Mark 14: 37)? Shortly after Jesus was arrested. Peter, standing among the crowd, was tested by the high priest's maid. Unprepared by prayer and fearful for his life, with a curse Peter denied that he even knew Jesus. At the Eucharist for the first Sunday of Lent a good prayer would be to ask the Spirit to heal the illusions, desires, and the doubts that divide our hearts. Only with this grace can we say the Lord's prayer with all our heart, and with all our soul, and with all our strength. And with Christ's Spirit we can live without fear because we trust that God's will for us can only be love. Campion P. Gavaler, O.S.B.

1st Sunday of Lent, Modern Lectionary 23 The first Sunday of Lent begins on a reassuring note this year as we hear about God's covenant of mercy and peace with all of creation, following the destruction brought by the flood and marked by the sign of a rainbow. Every time I see a rainbow I think of this passage and of God's fidelity to his creation and to us, who are the crown of creation. To be sure, there is an obvious connection between the forty days of the flood recounted in Genesis, the forty years of Israel's desert sojourn, and the forty days of Jesus temptation in the desert the last of which was in turn the inspiration for the forty days of our Lenten journey. But since the time when the Lectionary for mass was revised following the Second Vatican Council we have heard this excerpt from Genesis at the beginning of Lent for one critically important reason: because it speaks of God's restoration of hope to mankind and indeed all of creation after the flood, an event which is a "type" or symbolic representation of baptism. A type is really more than a symbol, it is a person or event or object which has real meaning and value itself, yet which also points forward to someone or something which is of greater significance. In his Letter to the Romans Saint Paul actually uses the word "type" it is the same in Greek and English when he refers to Christ, writing of Adam, who is a type of the one to come (Rom 5:14). That the first reading provides us with a "type" of baptism through its colorful language about Noah is deeply meaningful for all Christians today as we have just begun our observance of Lent, a time devoted to repentance and a return to our baptismal purity. Even more so, this baptismal imagery is important because today the Church the world over marks the beginning of the third stage of the preparation of catechumens for initiation into the Church at the Easter Vigil, an initiation of which baptism is the primordial moment. To commemorate this key moment in the faith life of the entire Church and her individual members dioceses all over the world will celebrate the Rite of Election today.

With this in mind, and turning back to the readings for mass, in the New Testament epistle from First Peter we hear the author directly say that baptism was foreshadowed by Noah and the flood: "He also went to preach to the spirits in prison, who had once been disobedient while God patiently waited in the days of Noah during the building of the ark, in which a few persons, eight in all, were saved through water. This prefigured baptism, which saves you now" (1 Pet 3:19-21). When the epistle speaks of "baptism, which saves you now" it is addressing both the Christian believers who first read and heard this epistle and us as well. The very same sacrament that delivered new life in the Lord to the earliest Christians does the same for us today, and the same inner conversion that led them to the waters of baptism must sustain us in our day, even if we were baptized many years ago. The gospel reading today also reminds us of this call to conversion as a keynote of Lenten observance, with Christ himself commanding us to "repent, and believe in the gospel" (Mark 1:15). May Lent be a season of renewal and peace for all who trust in the Lord, those already washed in the waters of baptism and those preparing for that great moment each one of us rejoicing with the Psalmist: "Your ways, O Lord, are love and truth to those who keep your covenant" (Ps 25:10). Father Edward Mazich, O.S.B"

Homily from Father Alex McAllister SDS
1 Lent
First Sunday of Lent

We know that Mark is the shortest of the Gospels and here we are presented with his account of the Temptation of Jesus which is very brief indeed. The Gospels of Matthew and Luke have more extended accounts of the Temptation which are broadly similar to each other. In both accounts Jesus is tempted to turn stones into bread and then the devil takes Jesus first to the pinnacle of the Temple and then to a High Mountain for further temptations. Jesus dismisses the devil's blandishments whereupon the devil leaves him. In all three of the Synoptic Gospels the Temptation comes Immediately after Christ's Baptism and before he inaugurates his public ministry. As always, I like to look carefully at the actual words used because I believe that this can tell us a lot that might otherwise escape our attention. You will observe that the text states that the Spirit drove Jesus out into the wilderness to be tempted by Satan. The Baptism of Jesus has just taken place but there is to be no lingering on the banks of the River Jordan basking in the affirming words of the Father, You are my Son, the Beloved; my favour rests on you.' Many translations state that the Spirit immediately' drove Jesus into the wilderness.

Or sometimes this is replaced with at once'. This is a good instance of St Mark moving rapidly from one scene to another in his Gospel. The interesting word for me though is where it says that the Spirit drove' Jesus into the wilderness. This makes it clear that the initiative comes from God. From this we can understand that right from the very beginning of his ministry there is to be confrontation between Jesus and the powers of evil. The purpose of this going into the wilderness is to be tempted and again we see that this word is often rendered as tested'. In Matthew and Luke we are told of specific temptations but not here in Mark; he seems to imply that a battle between Jesus and the forces of evil has begun. Of course, Jesus confounds the devil in the wilderness but we are in no doubt that the devil will make further appearances in different guises throughout Jesus' ministry. Mark also tells us that Jesus was 'with the wild beasts and the angels looked after him.' I imagine that many of Mark's early readers would have picked up an allusion to the wild beasts some of them might have to confront in a Roman amphitheatre in times of persecution.

Like them they surely hope that, as with Jesus, the angels would protect them. Then Mark swiftly moves on to the actual beginning of Jesus' ministry as he enters Galilee and announces to the people that the favourable moment has arrived and begins to preach the Good News. We always begin Lent with an account of the Temptation of Christ and as we begin this period of austerity and penance we ought to consider how we deal with temptation in our own lives. We realise that the temptations that Christ experienced in the desert are quite different from the temptations we ourselves experience. Although we may have made decisions to give up sweets or sugar or alcohol, or perhaps we have resolved to attend mass on a particular weekday or say extra prayers or undertake some fasting, even with these voluntarily penances we will inevitably experience the temptation to give them up. Now you might consider that the temptation to eat a few sweets is pretty low grade as temptations go; but it can be an indication of how we deal with bigger temptations. Bigger sins such as infidelity in marriage, watching inappropriate content on the internet, theft, lies and so on need to be resisted.

But if we find ourselves failing to keep our minor Lenten resolutions then it will obviously be much more difficult to keep on the straight and narrow when it comes to these much greater things. In the moral life habit is everything. It is important that we train ourselves to keep our Lenten promises. It is vital that we set personal standards and make the decision not to deviate from them. If we get into the habit of telling lies or gossiping we soon grow accustomed to these things and then we find ourselves believing that these minor things don't matter. Unfortunately, what then happens is that we are tempted by greater things, and because we have easily given way in comparatively minor matters we find it hard to resist these new and greater temptations. We call this self-mastery. If we get into the habit of controlling ourselves and exercising discipline in small things we will find it much easier to resist greater temptations. One of the most important aids to resisting temptation is prayer. If we are constant in our daily prayer we will experience closeness to God and in itself this will help us to resist temptations when they come along.

Prayer is the foundation course that we all need to lay in our lives so that we are spiritually strong enough to withstand temptation when it arises. Temptation must also be positively resisted and this needs to be done promptly, the instant the temptation arises. The easiest way to do this is to immediately dismiss the thought from our minds and straight away to start thinking about something more wholesome. Evil can only be fought with good and so substituting a good thought for a bad one will be an effective way of resisting temptation. We should never forget to give thanks to God once a temptation has been successfully resisted. We know that we could not resist without his grace and so we must thank him and this has the extra effect of strengthening ourselves against future temptations. Another thing to keep in mind is that we need a strong sense of what is right and what is wrong. If we hazy about this and get confused we will easily fall into the trap of thinking that some bad things are actually good and this will cause us a great deal of difficulty in life. What is good comes from God and what does not come from God is to be avoided. We are told in the first chapter of Gospel of John to walk in the light. So, in our lives we avoid what is shameful and relish those things that we can be proud of. We shun the darkness and walk always in the light of the Lord. In this way we will know that our actions will always be good and decent, honest and truthful, and that we will not have succumbed to the wiles of the devil and all his agents.

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