‘Like God,’ Devil’s or Jesus’s way?

Fr. Joel de los Reyes

Father Joel de los Reyes
Divine Mercy Moments

The Devil’s Way: In Genesis, the serpent tempted Eve to eat the forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden: “God knows that if you eat of it, your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God knowing good and devil” (GN 3:5). It’s a kind of temptation “to be like God,” not in love and mercy, but in power and glory, dependence one oneself, not in God. The lives of our first parents and their children were shattered as a consequence of their sin of disobedience. Cain, considered Abel not a brother, but a rival, and killed him.

When someone is admired, has a nice house and car, and is successful, envy and jealousy creep in and many succumb to it. Some politicians even eliminate their rivals.      

The devil’s “sweet talking” temptation continues at all times, done in fashionable ways of vain ambition, luxurious obsession, and mundane desires. The devil’s subtle baits and traps maneuver their way into sacred places and pious personages. When one is proud and self-conceited, imposes himself or herself, exploits the poor and the weak, takes advantage of someone’s goodness, this is the devil’s way.          

Jesus’ Way: Our Lord presents to us the way to be like God through love and mercy. Our love should not be selective. Love includes everybody for that’s how God loves us. Jesus manifested God’s love through his suffering and death on the cross for all people bad and good, believers and unbelievers alike. He said, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind and with all your strength, and you shall love your neighbor as yourself” (Mt 22:37-39). Be merciful as your heavenly Father is merciful (Lk 6:36).

Is this kind of love possible, doable, or practical? When we see or meet our enemy or someone whom we dislike, our heart beats like Abishai, David’s servant featured in the first reading of this Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time from 1 Samuel 26:2, 7-9, 12-13, 22-23, who believed that the opportunity to kill Saul comes from God. He said, “God has delivered your enemy into your grasp this day. Let me nail him to the ground with one thrust of the spear.” But David said; “Do not harm him, for who can lay hands on the Lord’s anointed and remain unpunished?”

Vengeance seems to be the natural impulse to get even with someone who hurt us. Can we still love that person? Here is the wisdom of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, “The love which we are called to is not a product of our own effort…it is a gift of God.” David sees, in a sense, not his own but God’s eyes.

On the flip side, someone said that truth is like a surgery, it hurts but it heals. Encourage and build up each other. Look for Christ and you will find him. The Lord tells us today that he needs our sufferings to rescue souls. Everyone loves you until you become a competition. A heathy you is your best gift to your family. Never believe you’re above or below anyone, be humble. Amen on that folks!

St. Faustina wrote Jesus’ words, “I do not reward for good results but for the patience and hardship undergone for my sake” (Diary 86).

Pray the Divine Mercy every 3 pm. Daily pray the chaplet of mercy and the holy rosary for peace in our families and world.

Come to our Healing Mass every Wednesday at 6 p.m., San Vicente Church, Barrigada with anointing of the blessed oil of San Roque and veneration of his sacred relic