March 6, 2014

Thurs. after Ash Wed.

March 6, 2014:  Thursday after Ash Wednesday


Wordle: Readings 3-6-14

  • Dt 30:15-20  Moses:  “I've set before you life and death, blessing and curse.  If you love God and walk in his ways, you'll live and grow, and the Lord will bless you, but if you turn away, you'll perish.  Choose life and live.”
  • Ps 1:1-4, 6  "Blessed are they who hope in the Lord."
  • Lk 9:22-25  The Son of Man must suffer and be rejected, be killed, and be raised.  “To come after me, deny yourself, take up your cross, and follow me.  If you lose your life for my sake, you'll save it.  What profit is there to gain the world but forfeit yourself?”
Pope Francis
  • Ash Wednesday Homily:  Conversion can't be reduced to intention or external observance but engages and transforms from within.  Be challenged by others' difficulties and open your eyes, ears, and heart to God and others.  God is excluded in today's culture of “doing,” of the “useful,” but the value of life depends on what we have inside, not appearance or others' approval.  Our conversion journey involves sacrifice and the cross, prayer, fasting, and almsgiving:
    • Prayer is believers' strength.  Turn to God with childlike confidence.  Dive into the sea of prayer, the sea of God’s love, and enjoy its tenderness.  Lent is a time of intense, diligent prayer, of interceding for situations of poverty and suffering, for others' needs.
    • Fasting should affect our security, benefit others, and help us take care of them.  It's a sign of responsibility that trains us to share; it's a sign of responsibility and trust in God.  Choose a sober life that doesn't waste or discard.
    • Almsgiving is a sign of gratuity.  We freely give, having freely received from God; we don't expect anything in return.  Today often gratuity is not part of everyday life, but giving alms helps free us from the obsession with possessing things, from fear of losing what you have, and from the sadness of not sharing.
Lent rouses us, shakes us from our inertia.  We must return to God because something is wrong in us, in society, in the Church, and we need to change!  Renewal is possible because God is faithful, good, loving, and forgiving.
    • Creighton:  Think about our many daily choices.
    • One Bread One Body:  Choose discipleship:  deny self (more than what athletes and business people do; our identity must lie in God alone); take up your cross daily (bear sufferings/difficulties); follow Jesus (go where he goes; love as he loves).
    • Passionist:  Am I Jesus' fan or follower?  Fans admire/appreciate but don't act; followers act daily.  What cross do I need to bear?

    • "Hearts" suspenders: (1st reading)
    • Tree pin:  one who delights in the Lord is like a tree... (psalm)
    • Fruit pin: ...that yields its fruit in due season (psalm)
    • Crucifix (gospel)
    • "No-excuses" button:  deny yourself (gospel)
    • "World" tie:  what's the profit of gaining the world but losing yourself? (gospel)

    Dress your life!

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