Today's Scriptural Meditation Readings:
February 10, A.D. 2005
A brief reflection on today's Scripture passages:
What profit is there for one to gain the whole world, yet lose himself? (see Luke 9:25)
One of our favorite pastimes is seeking scapegoats. When our lives go badly, we assign the blame to God, people or circumstances. Our eyes remain shut to the fact that "what goes around, comes around." Our Old Testament readings emphasize this point; human choices are all important and their consequences are inescapable. Christ's words in today's Gospel strongly affirm this.
Our problems stem from not fully understanding the purpose of Christ dying for our sins, taking the punishment we deserved upon Himself so that God's justice could be satisfied, thereby restoring our friendship with, our Father, the all-holy God.
It was done to show us that true belief in Jesus means that we too must learn to die to our human flesh. This doesn't mean a literal death, ending our physical lives; it means that we must stop obeying all our selfish wants and whims and instead listen to and heed the Holy Spirit. He will teach, guide and sustain us, enable us to live in God's holy Word, made incarnate in Jesus Christ. Christianity requires dying with Jesus to this sinful flesh by living in God's truth and love.
Here is the "rub." Self-denial is painful, and so are the crosses that our own and others' sins cause us. Choosing to love everyone in a world filled with people whose actions and words can negatively affect our spiritual, mental and physical health is difficult and learned slowly. This world's sufferings can never cease while some persist seeking only self-gratification. Those "opting" to gain this world's perishable goods and pleasures will forfeit the treasure of eternal life. Let us reflect deeply upon the meaning of the "ashes" we received yesterday, the price paid by Christ for our salvation and our debt of love to God.
You told us that You are "the way, the truth and the life."
Touch hearts the world over to accept Your words
and to follow You faithfully each day. Amen.
- Marie Bocko, ocds
(mlbocko at earthlink dot net)
Lives of the saints:
Thursday after Ash Wednesday
St. Scholastica, virgin
Full Scripture text from today's Liturgy of the Word:
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