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“lead us not into temptation”

The Our Father & Pope Francis’ Suggested Change

When I read about the Pope’s suggested change from: “lead us not intoThe_Temptation_of_Christ_by_the_Devil_-_Google_Art_Project temptation” to “God help us not to fall into temptation,” made sense to me and I even began to incorporate this change when I prayed the Our Father.

Last week in preparing for my Homily for the first Sunday of Lent specifically Mark’s gospel regarding The Temptation of Jesus I found a few reasons why it should remain in its original content. They are:

  • The Jewish thought at the time of Jesus was that whenever a person received in honor, testing or temptation followed. In understanding the first verse of Mark’s gospel we had to look back to Jesus’ Baptism, when the Holy Spirit descended upon Jesus in the form of a dove and a voice from the cloud said: “this is my beloved Son in whom I am very well pleased.” This certainly was an honor and according to Jewish thought temptation would follow.

  • In our baptism we also received a great honor: in our baptism we died with Christ so that we can also live with Christ forever and eternal life. I looked upon this as an honor and keeping with the Jewish thought temptation would follow.

  • Jesus overcame the temptations because God was present with him in his humanity with the angels ministering to him. In our temptation God is with us too. Remember, Jesus’ great temptation when he asked the Father if this cup could pass from him but not his will but God’s will be done. What happened? God sent an angel to strengthen Him.

As I looked at the results that happen to us when we are tempted and that they were positive and strengthened our relationship with God, temptation made sense to me.

  • Temptation helps us to detach ourselves from the things of this earth and focus on God.

  • Temptation helps us to develop a more ardent desire to be with God in heaven.

  • When we are tempted we become disturbed by temptation and see the danger of committing sin which disappoints God and overcoming temptation shows our love for God.

  • It renews our determination to avoid sin and not to offend God.

St. Augustine says:

“Our pilgrimage cannot be exempt from trial we progress by means of trial no one knows themselves except through trial or receives a crown except after victory or strives against an enemy temptations.

If in Christ we have been tempted, in Christ we overcame the devil. Do you think only of Christ’s temptations and fail to think of his victory? See yourself as tempted in Christ, and see yourself as victorious in Christ. He could have kept the devil from Himself but if Jesus was not tempted he could not teach us how to triumph over temptation.”

In our Baptism we received the strength of the Holy Spirit to overcome temptation and the graces we need for eternal life.

God has given us the gifts and graces we need, now it’s up to us to use them.

God Bless – Deacon Steve

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“Lord, teach us how to pray.”

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In my prison ministry, I work with mentally handicapped men who have gotten into serious trouble with the law but can’t be in the penal system. Working on the meaning of words in the most basic of prayers can be a true challenge.

Enter the Daughters of St. Mary of Providence. At this year’s Ignite Men’s Conference in Syracuse, they displayed a simple, interactive board to help teach children the “difficult” words in Our Lord’s Prayer.

If you look closely, I’ve turned over the wooden tile for “trespass”. The flip side says ” sin”. Whow!

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Thank you Daughters of St. Mary of Providence for showing me a technique that will certainly work with the men in my prison ministry.

No regrets!

Looking back over the week:  a time of great rides, spirited campfires, carousels, ice cream, faith building and even an evening visit from world famous circumnavigator, cyclist Jack Kelleher.

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Bob Cuffney & Jack Kelleher at Campfire

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Yet another flat to fix!

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Carousel Ride at West Endicott Park

Heading home

This morning we’re all packing our gear, folding up our tents and preparing for the ride home. Mass at 10:00, followed by a bit of pedaling, the requisite ice cream stop and finale at Our Lady of Good Counsel. More to come later…

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Breaking up… is easy to do

When faced with a daunting 62.5 mi. “Metric Century”… yes, that’s 100 kilometers, only 5 cyclists opted for this “Challenge Ride”. However, the remaining group enjoyed a 17 mi. “Adventure Tour”, complete with 2 carousels and the Italian Museum in Endicott,  NY.

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The Adventure Tour Group in Endicott

The Challenge Tour group took a break at Ross Park Zoo, in Binghamton, NY. The “boys” are hamming it up at the handicapped ramp sign, while they

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enjoy some high-energy “gorp mix” held over from this morning’s leg of the ride.

What’s up with Pluto?

Seems like an odd question for a Youth Bike Tour! However, tonight we’re on a school bus traveling to the Kopernic Observatory & Science Center to find the answer and to enjoy a “celestial campfire” illuminated by millions of stars.

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Kopernic Observatory & Science Center

This year’s tour has been packed with lots of “extras” like this evening’s. Thanks to the thoughtful preplanning of a dedicated group of volunteers, we’re redefining what a cycling tour can be:  building a youth faith community, providing the physical challenge of cycling, serving the communities in which we live and sharing special moments like this… opening up the wonder and awe of God’s creation.

Switching gears

From indoor this morning at the Senior Center to the parking lot of the Church of the Holy Family in Endwell… prepping for the HUGE annual bazaar.

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Service opportunities everywhere!