Commentary on the Gospel of
God tempts no one.
St. James tells us that ‘God tempts no one’. This reading brings back to mind the refocusing effected by the Holy Father, pope Francis on the Lord’s Prayer. He points out that rather than ‘lead us not into temptation,’ it should be, ‘do not allow us fall into temptation.’ Yes indeed, the former puts the lead on God Himself, while the latter gives us our rightful position of pleading with God to guide us.
One of the signs of healthy human maturation is beginning to take responsibility for one’s own words and actions. The natural human tendency is to lay blame on “the other”; to think in a way that appears to excuse oneself from blame. And so, one could be governed by ‘fear of blame.’ Such fear very easily leads to other unorthodox behaviors such as telling lies or half-truths. And St. James herein strongly emphasizes ‘perseverance’ at moments of temptation. I understand him saying, ‘be the Christian you are born to be in season and out of season, so that, running a good race to the end, as St. Paul would say, merits one the crown of eternal life.
And in the Gospel reading, our Lord brings us to see beyond the immediate appearance. Salvation lies not in the ‘leaven’ of the physical bread akin to the appearance, external manifestation, affluence, showing off of some religious (Pharisees) and civil (Herod) leaders. Instead, true life lies in embracing Jesus Himself for who He is, the Truth, remaining with Him amid difficulties and challenges – always staying on the side of the Truth, who Himself will never abandon whoever that testifies to Him. At the moment of temptation, if we remain faithful to the Lord Jesus Christ, He will always set us free.