Pope Francis celebrated Tuesday's morning Mass along with the eight cardinals who make up his advisory council.
In his homily, the Pope talked about temptation. From recognizing it to resisting it.
"It's interesting, temptation has three characteristics: it grows, it's contagious and it justifies itself. It starts off slowly, but it grows.”
The Pope then added that temptation may seem harmless at first, but it can have devastating consequences. The Word of God, he explained, offers a way out of that spiral.
SUMMARY OF POPE'S HOMILY
(Source: Vatican Radio)
"Where does temptation come from? How does it work in us? The Apostle tells us that it is not from God, but from our passions, our inner weaknesses, from the wounds left in us by original sin: that’s where temptations come from, from these passions. It’s curious... temptation has three characteristics: it grows, is contagious and is justified. It grows: it begins with a tranquil air, and grows ... Jesus himself said this when He spoke about the parable of the wheat and the tares. The wheat grew, but so did the weeds sown by the enemy. And the temptation grows: it grows, it grows... And if one does not stop it, it fills everything.”
"And so, when we are tempted, we do not hear the Word of God, we don’t hear. We don’t understand. And Jesus had to remind them of the multiplication of the loaves to get them out of that environment, because temptation closes us in, it takes away any ability to see ahead, it closes every horizon, and so leads us to sin. When we are tempted, only the Word of God, the Word of Jesus saves us, hearing that Word that opens the horizon... He is always willing to teach us how to escape from temptation. And Jesus is great because He not only brings us out of temptation, but gives us more confidence.”
"Let us ask the Lord, who always — as He did with the disciples, with his patience — when we are tempted, tells us: ‘Stop, don’t worry. Remember what I did with you at that moment, at that time: remember. Lift up your eyes, look at the horizon, do not be closed, do not close in on yourself, go forward.’ And this Word will save us from falling into sin in the moment of temptation.”