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The first reading reminds us of the beautiful plan of God for his creatures, for humanity, in the Garden of Eden.

The plan was marred by the first disobedience, the original sin, and man and woman felt alienated from God and from each other.

In a funny take on the narrative, it was said that God questioned Adam about eating the forbidden fruit.

Adam, defending himself, blamed Eve for luring him. Eve, defending herself, pointed to the serpent for tempting her with false promises.

The serpent wanted to defend itself, but without fingers, it could not point to anyone. And so it became typecast into the role of the original evil thing.

The story may sound funny, and may even make us believe that the devil (which the serpent represents) is just a harmless creature brought into a conflicting situation by a couple in domestic conflict.

In fact, many people today believe that the devil is just a symbol of the evils happening in the world. Many people even think there is no real devil and that it is just a construct of the mind. 

Young people find the devil only in horror movies and even in tv programs where it is made to look friendly, good, or nice.

This Lenten season it is good to realize that the invitation of the Lord becomes clearer. God has created us for himself, to be in unity with him as his sons and daughters. Jesus the Lord came to us from heaven to restore our lost dignity and bring us back to the Father.

But it is not easy to remember the Lord’s invitation and his daily call for our holiness. We live in a world where there are so many invitations to disobedience, infidelity, rebellion, and sin.

The Fall is real. Sin is real. The devil is real, and it wants to drag us away from the beautiful dream God has for us from the beginning.

Pope Francis in his document “Rejoice and Be Glad,” says that our path to holiness involves a real struggle with the devil, the prince of evil. He says, the devil is not an abstract imagination only, but a real personal being that always tempts us to sin and error.

This happens in many ways, some in spectacular ways like the ones in horror movies of possessions and influences, but these are rare. 

More common in everyday life, the devil “poisons us with the venom of hatred, desolation, envy and vice.”

But the devil, we must remember is a defeated enemy of the victorious Christ. From the moment the Lord Jesus became incarnate in Mary’s womb, he “crushed the serpent’s head.” The Virgin Mary and the saints and all baptized Christians who strive to live for Jesus, are triumphant over the devil and his tricks.

How do we recover the Lord’s invitation to live in peace and harmony with him? How do we resist temptations and sins in our lives? How can we find ourselves back in the loving and merciful embrace of the Holy Spirit?

Strive to do good all the time. Grow in your spiritual life. Increase in love for God and for neighbor.

Each one of us has a Cross to bear. And carrying that cross with faith and trust in the Lord will bring us victory over the devil, over sin, over death, over corruption.

Jesus is our model in fighting evil and claiming our hearts only for God. Let us always ask his help to survive every battle in our spiritual lives.

A fruitful Lent to all!

Let’s pray the Stations of the Cross; fast and abstain; love the poor; make sacrifices for God and others…

(pls share with a friend…)