Bible, like cellphone, should be carried always, pope says

By Junno Arocho Esteves

CITY (CNS) — Christians should care about reading God’s messages in the Bible
as much as they care about checking
messages on their cellphones, Pope Francis said.

Christ did in the desert when tempted by Satan, men and women can defend
themselves from temptation with the word of God if they “read it often,
meditate on it and assimilate it” into their lives, he said before praying
the Angelus with those gathered in St. Peter’s Square March 5.

would happen if we turned back when we forget it, if we opened it more times a
day, if we read the messages of God contained in the Bible the way we read
messages on our cellphones?” the pope asked the crowd.

pope’s reflection centered on the day’s Gospel reading (Mt. 4:1-11) in which
Jesus is tempted by the devil while fasting in the desert for 40 days and
nights before beginning his ministry.

he said, attempts to dissuade Jesus from fulfilling his message and to undermine
his divinity by tempting him twice to perform miracles like “a
magician” and lastly, by adoring “the devil in order to have dominion
over the world.”

this triple temptation, Satan wants to divert Jesus from the path of obedience
and humiliation — because he knows that through that path evil will be
defeated — and take him on the false shortcut of success and glory,” the
pope said.

Jesus deflects “the poisonous arrows of the devil” not with his own
words but “only with the Word of God.”

the pope continued, are called to follow Jesus’ footsteps and “confront
the spiritual combat against the evil one” through the power of God’s word
which has the “strength to defeat Satan.”

Bible contains the word of God, which is always relevant and effective. Someone
once said: What would happen if we treated the Bible like we treated our
cellphones? What would happen if we always brought it with us, or at least a
small pocket-sized Gospel?” he asked.

the comparison between the Bible and a cellphone is “paradoxical,” he
added, it is something that all Christians are called to reflect on during the
Lenten season.

we have the Word of God always in our hearts, no temptation could separate us
from God and no obstacle would deviate us from the path of good,” the pope

praying the Angelus prayer with the faithful in the square, Pope Francis asked
for prayers before departing for a weeklong Lenten retreat with members of the
Roman Curia.

he said, “is the path of the people of God toward Easter, a path of
conversion, of fighting evil with the weapons of prayer, fasting and works of
charity,” Pope Francis said. “I wish everyone a fruitful Lenten
journey,” he said.

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Arocho on Twitter: @arochoju.

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