Discern, Beware of False Gods

Offering My Last Two Coins
November 23, 2020
My Word Remains
November 27, 2020
PITIK-BULAG: Discern, Beware of False Gods
 
As we come closer to the end of the Liturgical Year, our gospel readings speak more of the end of times or his apocalyptic discourse.
 
In today’s gospel, the message is crystal clear: “Take care not to be deceived (Luke 21:8).” Here, the Lord is inviting us to be steadfast and serious in DISCERNING THINGS. There are countless deceits and lies in our midst, and if we are not sensitive and vigilant in guarding our minds and hearts, we may easily fall into the traps of the evil spirit.
 
One of the main concerns of Jesus was the presence of false prophets, false leaders, or false idols. The fact that many Jews during the time of Jesus admired their great temple built by Herod in 46 AD. This great temple brought huge joy and pride to them. In the end, it becomes the focal point of their worship, and not God anymore. The people forgot that true worship happens when someone seeks and obey the will of God, not just by merely worshipping God through rituals and their admiration of the temple.
 
Indeed, GOOD THINGS IN OUR LIVES CAN BECOME OUR FALSE GODS OR IDOLS without our awareness. Thus, in our gospel today, the Lord stressed the need for SPIRITUAL DISCERNMENT to be able to detect the deceits and lies in our midst, especially our natural human attraction to anything that glitters, powerful, delicious, glorious, and self-satisfying. Then, Jesus warned us NOT TO FOLLOW THEM (Luke 21:8) or BE ENTICED BY THEIR DECEITFUL CHARMS. He warned the people that these things were not lasting. Even their grandest and most loved temple would eventually false in the end.
 
It is good to consider that Jesus even mentioned some of the signs of the end of times: the appearance of the false prophets, political chaos, and natural disasters. All these signs are present now. We are being barraged daily with countless false news. The political conflicts in many countries are unbelievable. And now, the pandemic, earthquakes, super typhoons, and other natural calamities are creating havoc in the world.
 
Like in the time of Jesus, we have also adored and idolized the technological and economical achievements of our present society. These things become our false gods. We are completely enticed by this world’s material charms. We become so materialistic and selfish. We become greedy in everything. We desire more of everything that the world is offering, but slowly we lost our sensitivity to the presence of God and His will. Slowly, we lost our identity as servants of God and children of God, whose main objective to love Him by loving others. We lost the gift of love as we follow the false gods of the present society. Thus, warnings are given. Like the temple of Jerusalem, even all these things we possessed now will turn into dust soon. Nothing is permanent. Only God.
 
Thus, we are being warned to OPEN OUR EYES AND FOCUS ON LASTING THINGS:
 
1. Nothing is permanent in this world. Only God.
 
2. Beware of the deceits and lies of the evil spirit, using wealth, power, and fame to trap us.
 
3. Jesus is the lasting temple of God.
 
4. Signs that everything is temporal is in our mids: false news, political chaos, natural calamities, and pandemic.
 
5. Believers will be put to test and persecution.
 
6. But don’t worry, the Lord promises the following:
 
a. He will accompany us until the end of times
b. He will give us spiritual strength. The Holy Spirit is with us.
c. We shall overcome all our hardships and trials.
d. He shall overcome evil.
 
Never let go of your prayer life. Discernment of spirits is a gift given to those who are united with God and have established a deeply rooted relationship with Jesus. Without discernment, we are prone to commit mistakes in our decisions and can be easily enticed by the deceits of the evil spirit. So beg God for the gift of discernment every day. We don’t want to worship false God in our midst.
 
What are the good things in your life? If these things become the center of your life and your desires. Beware. You might be worshiping a false god.
 
– Fr. Willy M. Samson, SJ
 
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November 24, 2020 – Tuesday
Gospel Reading: Luke 21: 5-11

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