In the first reading from St. James there is an important lesson on temptation – something we all experience, no one is immune. St. James tells us that the root of such comes from our desires, desires that are unredeemed urges – that come and go and sometimes even stay for a time much to our regret. They can be voices from our past inviting us to indulge some passion even though it is sinful.
The problem is that we, in our humanity, can be and are somewhat blind in recognizing temptation and sin for what they are. To think that we are above all this at all times is self-deception at its best.
The Gospel today is about spiritual blindness, deafness. The disciples, good men, misunderstood Jesus so He had to instruct them giving them light to see and light to comprehend. He calls them to be vigilant in listening, in seeing so that they follow Him in truth. He calls them to remember, to call to mind what they have seen in Him, what they have heard from Him – in a way, He is asking them, “How could forget so soon what you experienced first hand?”
And so us – it is in the face of temptation – whatever that is – that we need to remember who is the Lord of our lives – whose word we follow – whose mercy we experience – may the prayer of the psalmist (94) be yours/mine:
When I say, ‘My foot is slipping,’
Your kindness, O Lord, sustains me;
When cares abound within me,
our comfort gladdens my soul.