|Ninth Sunday after Pentecost|
he First Epistle of St. Paul to the Corinthians, x. 6-13. Brethren: We should not covet evil things, as they also coveted. Neither become ye idolaters, as some of them: as it is written: The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play. Neither let us commit fornication, as some of them committed fornication, and there fell in one day three and twenty thousand. Neither let us tempt Christ: as some of them tempted, and perished by the serpents. Neither do you murmur: as some of them murmured, and were destroyed by the destroyer. Now all these things happened to them in figure: and they are written for our correction, upon whom the ends of the world are come. Wherefore he that thinketh himself to stand, let him take heed lest he fall. Let no temptation take hold on you, but such as is human: and God is faithful, Who will not suffer you to be tempted above that which you are able, but will make also with temptation issue, that you may be able to bear it.
Can we sin by thought and desire alone?
Certainly, if we desire evil and unlawful things, of of our own free will dwell upon them with pleasure.
What is it to tempt God?
It is presumptuously to expect signs of God's omnipotence, benignity, providence, and justice. Such a sin it would be, 1, to desire that matters of faith should be made known and confirmed by new miracles; 2, to expose ourselves unnecessarily to danger of body or soul. expecting God to deliver us; 3, to reject the ordinary and natural means of deliverance in sickness or other peril, trusting in God's immediate assistance.
he Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ, According to St. Luke, xix. 41-47. At that time when Jesus drew near Jerusalem, seeing the city, He wept over it, saying: If thou also hadst known, and that in this thy day, the things that are to thy peace, but now they are hidden from thy eyes. For the days shall come upon thee: and thy enemies shall cast a trench about thee, and compass thee round: and straiten thee on every side: and beat thee flat to the ground, and thy children who are in thee, and they shall not leave in thee a stone upon a stone: because thou hast not known the time of thy visitation. And entering into the temple, He began to cast out them that sold therein, and them that bought, saying to them: It is written: My house is the house of prayer: but you have made it a den of thieves. And He was teaching daily in the temple.
Why did the Saviour weep over the city of Jerusalem?
Because it had not known and profited by its time of visitation, and through impenitence was hastening to destruction.
What was the time of its visitation?
The period in which God sent to the Jews one prophet after another, whom they derided and calumniated, stoned and put to death (Matt. xxiii. 34). But especially was it the time of the ministry of Christ, Who so often proclaimed His life-giving doctrine; pointed out and demonstrated, by the greatest miracles, that He was the Messias and the Saviour of the world, and yet was despised by this hardened and impenitent city, and even put to death on the cross.
Does God hide from the wicked the truths of salvation?
No; but sinners so blind themselves by their sins that the divine inspirations fail to move them to penance.
What do we learn by Jesus casting out of the temple those who sold and bought?
We learn how severely He will punish those who in church forget where they are; forget that Jesus Christ is present in the tabernacle; who laugh, talk, amuse themselves, cherish sinful thoughts, and give scandal by their improper dress and unbecoming behavior.
O Jesus, Who didst weep over the city of Jerusalem because it knew not the time of its visitation, I beseech Thee enlighten my heart, that I may always behave with reverence in Thy church, and never turn it into a resort for evil thoughts and desires of for worldly cares.