< <  

Saturday, December 30, 2000

  > >
1 John 2:12-17
Psalm 96
Luke 2:36-40

View Readings
Similar Reflections

a streetcar named desires

"Carnal allurements, enticements for the eye, the life of empty show — all these are from the world. And the world with its seductions is passing away." —1 John 2:16-17

"Allurements," "enticements," and "seductions" are three English translations of the same Greek word. The old Revised Standard Version (RSV) Bible translated the Greek word as "lust." However, the English word "lust" has dominant sexual connotations, which would not be as emphatic in the Greek word, which means "strong desires" of many kinds.

Desires stemming from selfishness, concupiscence, and pride are used by the worldly to manipulate and trap us. After the world finishes using us, it will throw us away. Finally, the world itself will pass away (1 Jn 2:17).  However, the one who has no love for the world (1 Jn 2:15) and who "does God's will endures forever" (1 Jn 2:17).

We cannot avoid the trap set by our desires by merely controlling the expression of our desires. We need new desires. This means we must have a new nature. Through Jesus' death and resurrection and our Baptism into Him, we receive a new nature with godly desires. We are to spend the rest of our lives discovering and developing that new nature with its new desires.

Therefore, "do not yield to the desires that once shaped you in your ignorance" (1 Pt 1:14). "Lay aside your former way of life and the old self which deteriorates through illusion and desire, and acquire a fresh, spiritual way of thinking. You must put on that new man created in God's image" (Eph 4:22-24). "Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified their flesh with its passions and desires" (Gal 5:24). Accept the desires of Jesus' heart.

Prayer:  Father, this Christmas may I open my baptismal present of new, godly desires.

Promise:  "She gave thanks to God and talked about the Child to all who looked forward to the deliverance of Jerusalem." —Lk 2:38

Praise:  Audrey gave up late night TV for early morning Jesus.

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Edward J. Gratsch, July 15, 2000

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, July 17, 2000