Wednesday, February 25, 2009
THURSDAY AFTER ASH WEDNESDAY
THURSDAY AFTER ASH WEDNESDAY – YEAR I
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
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
Today, God offers us the clear choice between life and death. He
leaves the choice up to us. The Gospel reading, which talks about
death and life, begins with Jesus foretelling what is going to happen
to him. He is going to endure intense physical suffering, mental
suffering through total rejection by the leaders of his own people,
and a brutal execution. But all will lead to resurrection and a new
life that can never be taken away. Jesus goes on to say that anyone
who wants to be one of his followers must be prepared to walk the same
path, carrying their cross after him.
Perhaps we should emphasize that we are to carry our cross which will
be different from the cross of Jesus and from that of others. And Luke
adds that it is something we must be prepared to do every day. Of
course, it is a call which goes against many of our normal instincts.
Renouncing self goes against our desire to advance ourselves in the
eyes of others. People do want to preserve their lives.
Self-preservation is a deep instinct. But self-preservation is not the
same as self-advancement. Jesus is saying that a life spent focused
only on ourselves and our self-advancement is ultimately a recipe for
self-destruction. We are bound to be disappointed. The only way to
live is, like Jesus, to offer our lives in love for the benefit of
others, in caring, in solidarity, in compassion, in justice. This is
the only way truly to find ourselves and to come out winners.
What is the good of winning the whole world, becoming incredibly rich
and famous, and then losing one's integrity, self-respect, dignity as
a person, and one's happiness? Our world, Christian and non-Christian,
is covered with statues and images of people who gave their lives for
others, for causes and values greater than themselves. They are our
heroes and our models. And first among them is Jesus, dying in
apparent failure and ignominy on the cross. We now see that cross as a
victorious symbol of the greatest love that one can show for our
brothers and sisters.
We pray …
… for a deep and profound respect for life, especially for the
… for the healing and strength of:
- Sophia Gonzalez
- Christy Chin
- Pam D, Cindi R, Angela I, Jan and Goldie
- Elizabeth Berame Santos
- Sr. Teresa Mabasa, DC
- Marlyn Tadeo
… In Thanksgiving: for passing Nursing Licensure Exam: Hana Marie G.
… for the personal intentions of Kristine Valenteros
... for the wisdom, guidance and enlightenment of Mary Beth
… for good health: Valenteros family
… for the eternal repose of the souls of
- Manuel Go
- Ernesto Guevara
Eternal rest grant unto them and may perpetual light shine upon them.
May they and all the dearly departed rest in peace.
… for all the prayer intentions in the MTQ Dailyprayer Diary.
- Birthday: Amanda Beatrice P. Chuaunsu
- Birthday: Jerome Roderick L. Diokno
- Wedding Anniversary: Vincent & Maget Fabella
… for the healing and peace of all families
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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