Thursday after Ash Wednesday




Thursday after Ash Wednesday

Today’s Audio Mass Readings – Lectionary: 220

1st Reading – DT 30:15-20

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.”

Responsorial Psalm – PS 1:1-2, 3, 4 AND 6

R. (40:5a) Blessed are they who hope in the Lord.
Blessed the man who follows not
the counsel of the wicked
Nor walks in the way of sinners,
nor sits in the company of the insolent,
But delights in the law of the LORD
and meditates on his law day and night.
R. Blessed are they who hope in the Lord.
He is like a tree
planted near running water,
That yields its fruit in due season,
and whose leaves never fade.
Whatever he does, prospers.
R. Blessed are they who hope in the Lord.
Not so the wicked, not so;
they are like chaff which the wind drives away.
For the LORD watches over the way of the just,
but the way of the wicked vanishes.
R. Blessed are they who hope in the Lord.

Verse Before The Gospel – MT 4:17

Repent, says the Lord;
the Kingdom of heaven is at hand.

Gospel – LK 9:22-25

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?”

Catholic Daily Reflections

The World or Your Soul?

“What profit is there for one to gain the whole world yet lose or forfeit himself?” Luke 9:25

Many people dream of winning the lottery. And often times, the dream is for many millions of dollars. Imagine what you would do if you became an instant millionaire or an instant billionaire. Do you find yourself daydreaming about this?

If so, perhaps the question above is a good one to ponder. What good is it if you win the biggest lottery in history, become the wealthiest person on the face of the Earth, but lack the grace of God in your life and lack faith? Would you trade your faith for being exceptionally wealthy and gaining the whole world? Many people probably would or else Jesus would not have asked this question.

Very often in life we have the wrong priorities. We seek instant satisfaction and gratification over eternal fulfillment. It’s hard for many people to live with an eternal perspective.

Some may say, “Well, I choose both! I want the whole world and the salvation of my soul!” But Jesus’ question presupposes that we cannot have both. We must pick which one we choose to pursue. Choosing a life of faith and the salvation of our souls requires that we let go of many things in this world. Even if God were to bless us with much in this world, we must strive to live in such a way that we are ready and willing to “give it up” if it were beneficial to our eternal salvation, or the salvation of others. This is hard to do and requires a very deep love of God. It requires that we are convinced, on the deepest level, that the pursuit of holiness is more important than anything else.

Reflect, today, upon this profound question from Jesus. Know that He poses it to you. How do you respond? Do not hesitate to make God and His abundant mercy the central focus of your life. Lent is one of the best times of the year to seriously look at the most fundamental desire and goal of your heart. Choose Him above all else and you will be eternally grateful you did.

Lord, as we enter into this Lenten season, give me the grace I need to look at my priorities. Help me to honestly discern that which is the most fundamental and central driving motivation of my life. Help me to choose You above all else so that You will help everything in my life to become ordered in accord with Your holy will. Jesus, I trust in You.

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