In the reflections of the past four days, Jesus reminds us of the peril of troubling ourselves with life's "many things" through his interactions with Martha and Mary.  These "many things" rob us of our devotion to God and deceive us into solely relying on our own power.  In addition, the devil often takes advantage of the ever evolving technologies and information to further distract our already chaotic hearts and minds, making trivialities or minor issues the focus of our life.   The devil bombards us with endless information to confuse our senses and disrupt our concentration; to occupy our life with busy-ness and hurriedness, day in and day out.  The devil, an instigator of troubles who understands human weakness, entraps us into an endless cycle of accumulation.  Inevitably, a seemingly harmless habit turns into an addiction.  As a result, we become imprisoned by our own possessions.

In truth, the devil is a skillful trickster who willfully piles more things on top of our "many things". He only has one goal: to create a rift in our relationship with God, so that we will distance ourselves from God by choosing to serve the false master; in the end, we will be separated from God.

The devil's strategy begins with our attitude to life, first, luring us to develop unhealthy habits, which then evolves into a lifestyle that endangers us. Eventually, we arrive at the point of no return and lose our footing, and end up in the devil’s trap.

The endgame of the devil's ploy and innovations is this: he wants us to doubt God's unconditional love and desire to give us the best, and that God will provide us with everything we need. We are giving the devil’s ploy a boost when we lose our confidence in God.

The Church cautions us against the "three enemies of the soul" the devil, the flesh, the world —  reminding us that we should not fall for their temptations.
"… for all that is in the world — the desire of the flesh, the desire of the eyes, the pride in riches — comes not from the Father but from the world. And the world and its desire are passing away, but those who do the will of God live forever."
(1 John 2:16-17)

Indeed, we cannot really take away anything from this world when we are gone, be it wealth, fame, social status, power, pleasure, or all the things that we have amassed. Everything will pass away, but only God and His Holy will will remain.  Then, isn't our choice crystal clear? 

We must remember that when we choose earthly things over God, not only are we separating ourselves from God and His love, but also from His grace.  Contrarily, when we choose God and choose to do His will, His grace will overflow our life and the lives of those we serve.

Indeed, life is short and fleeting; time is the most precious gift from God.  Our most important life's lesson and choice is this: whether we choose to devote our time to strive for the "many things" that are only temporary, or to relish God's love and grace, as well as the eternal joy and blessings that God has in store for us.  


Has your dedication to the "many things" ever brought you lasting peace and joy?

What rewards from the "many things" are you expecting that could not be replaced by eternal joy and blessings?

Would you be willing to change your course in life during Lent, so that you may make better choices?


Lord Jesus Christ, I recognize that in my life, danger and traps abound.  The devil's attack is relentless.  I realize that now is the momentous time to fortify the boundary between the devil and me; but I also know that I am weak and passive.  Do not allow me to surrender to my pride and believe that I can conquer the devil's ploy solely by myself.  Help me to be close to You with all my heart, all my soul, and all my mind, so that through Your Holy Name and authority, I may be able to vanquish the devil's attack, one step at a time.  Send forth Your Spirit to light my path,  so that I may follow His guidance.  I trust that within You, nothing is impossible.  For this I pray in the Holy Name of Jesus Christ.  Amen.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

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Sincerely invite you to share the reflections that inspires you by this day's retreat.