Wednesday, March 01, 2006
Thursday after Ash Wednesday
March 2, 2006
Thursday after Ash Wednesday - Yr II
Moses said to the people: "Today I have set before you life and
prosperity, death and doom. If you obey the commandments of the LORD,
your God, which I enjoin on you today, loving him, and walking in his
ways, and keeping his commandments, statutes and decrees, you will live
and grow numerous, and the LORD, your God, will bless you in the land
you are entering to occupy. If, however, you turn away your hearts and
will not listen, but are led astray and adore and serve other gods, I
tell you now that you will certainly perish; you will not have a long
life on the land that you are crossing the Jordan to enter and occupy.
I call heaven and earth today to witness against you: I have set before
you life and death, the blessing and the curse. Choose life, then, that
you and your descendants may live, by loving the LORD, your God,
heeding his voice, and holding fast to him. For that will mean life for
you, a long life for you to live on the land that the LORD swore he
would give to your fathers Abraham, Isaac and Jacob."
Jesus said to his disciples: "The Son of Man must suffer greatly and be
rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be
killed and on the third day be raised." Then he said to all, "If anyone
wishes to come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross
daily and follow me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it,
but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it. What profit is
there for one to gain the whole world yet lose or forfeit himself?"
Yesterday we began the season of Lent by having ashes placed on our
foreheads as a sign of repentance. The call to turn away from sin and
to be faithful to the Gospel still rings out as a reminder of what Lent
is all about. Each day we are given the option to choose God's ways and
to do good or to be led astray by the devil. It is not always easy to
follow God's laws. There are many influences around us that can
separate us from the love of Christ. Spiritual growth is attained only
when we are willing to choose good at all times, not just when we feel
like it. There is a saying among athletes when training: "No pain, no
gain." Sacrifice is necessary when we want to attain a particular
Moses set before the people a choice: the covenant of life with God or
certain death without God. God had promised the people that if they
obeyed his laws, he would bring them to the land, which he had set
aside for them, where they would enjoy life to the fullest. But there
was a price to pay. They had to be willing to give themselves
completely over to God. The choice was theirs.
In today's Gospel reading, Jesus invites us to take up our cross and
follow in his steps to eternal life. Choosing life is not always easy.
It means sacrificing certain desires. We make choices every day which
represent our values, what is important to us. What does it mean to
choose life? It means that we desire life with God both now and in the
heavenly kingdom when our time on earth is over.
We all stumble and fall in our desire to follow the Lord. Lent is an
opportunity for us to recommit our lives to Jesus. It is a chance to
rededicate our lives to the Lord. Jesus always desires that we follow
him more closely, and love him more dearly. Let us recommit our lives
to Jesus, taking to heart the words that Moses spoke so long ago:
"Choose life then ... that you may live in the love of the Lord your
God, obeying his voice, clinging to him; for in this your life
We pray -
- for a deep and profound respect for life, especially for the
- for the spiritual and physical healing of Julie Gibson.
- for the personal intentions and thanksgiving of Rikit Navarro.
- for the personal intentions of Peter.
- for the spiritual and physical healing of Beth.
- for all the prayer intentions in the MTQ Dailyprayer Diary.
- for world peace and reconciliation.
Finally, we pray for one another, for those who have asked our
prayers and for those who need our prayers the most.
Have a good day!
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