Wednesday, March 05, 2014
Thursday after Ash Wednesday
March 6, 2014
Thursday after Ash Wednesday
Dt 30: 15-20 / Ps 1: 1-2, 3, 4 and 6 / Lk 9: 22-25
Reading: Dt 30: 15-20
See, I set before you on this day life and good, evil and death. I command you to love Yahweh, your God and follow his ways. Observe his commandments, his norms and his laws, and you will live and increase, and Yahweh will give you his blessing in the land you are going to possess. But if your heart turns away and does not listen, if you are drawn away and bow before other gods to serve them, I declare on this day that you shall perish. You shall not last in the land you are going to occupy on the other side of the Jordan. Let the heavens and the earth listen, that they may be witnesses against you. I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse. Therefore, choose life that you and your descendants may live, loving Yahweh, listening to his voice, and being one with him. In this is life for you and length of days in the land which Yahweh swore to give to your ancestors, to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob."
Gospel: Luke 9: 22-25
And he added, "The Son of Man must suffer many things. He will be rejected by the elders and chief priests and teachers of the Law, and be put to death. Then after three days he will be raised to life." Jesus also said to all the people, "If you wish to be a follower of mine, deny yourself and take up your cross each day, and follow me! For if you choose to save your life, you will lose it; but if you lose your life for my sake, you will save it. What does it profit you to gain the whole world, if you destroy or damage yourself?
Suffering is part of being alive. We are called in life to love. But to love is also to suffer. Knowing our human tendency to avoid pain and suffering, our Lord reminded his followers of the inevitability of suffering in life and the relationship between love and pain. The ancient Chinese in some way understood this reality. That is why like the Greeks of old, they have more than one word for love. One such word could also be translated as pain. Even if pain and suffering are essential elements in the reality of living and loving, joy and contentment are as much part of loving and living. However, the meaning of carrying one's cross is not just bearing our burdens or sufferings, it has a mission part. Loving is very much the mission of the cross. We learn the value of being human beings created to love and be loved and that makes sharing Christ's yoke light because as we participate in that mission we are being redeemed from our sinful inclinations. As our Lord Jesus had said the Son of Man must suffer and die but on the third day will be raised to life. This is a great consolation for all of us who are suffering one way or another. Our Lenten practices are reminders for us that to be able to live and love as followers of our Lord, we have to die to our selfish desires. But we can all look forward with hope for we all know that the resurrection of our Lord follows after his passion and death. Even so, when we are faced with setbacks and various forms of suffering in our lives, can we still have the joy and hope of Easter in our hearts? On the other hand, given a choice, shall we choose the rough and difficult road which is the way God wants us to take to be able to reach him? Or shall we choose the easy and smooth road leading us away from the Lord?
We pray ...
... for a deep and profound respect for life, especially for the unborn.
... for all the prayer intentions in the MTQ Dailyprayer Diary.
... for families who are in need of healing.
... for personal intentions
... 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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