Posted by: livingscripture | February 23, 2012

Thursday after Ash Wednesday

From the Word of the Day

“If anyone wishes to come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.”

                                         Luke 9: 23                                                                                                  

How should we live this Word

Christian life means following Jesus on His earthly journey toward the Father.  To follow the same road traced out by Jesus leads inevitably toCalvary.  There is no other way, as Tonino Bello would say.  Thus to want to ‘follow Jesus’ is a serious choice that demands an act of will and of freedom.  This following is always preceded by an invitation that has unlimited power.  It opens up to a path of ever greater intimacy with Jesus, embraced by the Trinity.

Jesus gives us three conditions for reaching this joy.  We must deny ourselves, embrace the cross, and follow Him.  The disciple is called to follow Jesus every day, renouncing a false ego and welcoming with ever greater freedom all that happens.  We must abandon ourselves into the Father’s arms, with our eyes fixed on Jesus who accompanies us along the way, filling our heart with love.  Love is essential to Christian life.  We are capable of loving when we find that we are loved radically by Jesus.  We can say with St. Paul, ‘the life that I live in the body, I live in faith in the Son of God who has loved me and handed Himself over for me.’  (Galatians 2: 20)

Today in my pause for silent contemplation, I will gaze on the Crucifix. Jesus loves me so much that He gave His life for me.

Lord Jesus, here I am.  I am following You.  Increase my faith, hope, and love. 

The voice of Blessed Pope John Paul II 

The cross of poverty, the cross of hunger, the cross of every other suffering can be transforming because the cross of Christ has become a light in our world.  It is a light of hope and of salvation.  It gives meaning to all human suffering.

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