February 27, 2020
by Angela Maynard
Creighton University's Student Health
click here for photo and information about the writer

Thursday after Ash Wednesday
Lectionary: 220

Deuteronomy 30:15-20
Psalms 1:1-2, 3, 4 and 6
Luke 9:22-25

Praying Ordinary Time

Praying Lent Resources

First Four Days of Lent - 23 min. - Text Transcript

Weekly Guide for Daily Prayer

Cooking Lent
Recipes for Ash Wednesday,
all the Fridays of Lent and for Good Friday

As we enter the season of Lent, we begin to receive hints about what lies ahead.  Very appropriately, Jesus tells his disciples that he will be rejected, suffer greatly and ultimately be killed by the chief priests and scribes.  He mentions being raised on the third day.  I can only imagine the reaction of his friends as they hear these words—shock, fear, sadness, confusion?

This leads me to wonder if they even heard the next thoughts Jesus shared:

“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 does Jesus mean?  Many refer to a ‘cross to bear’ when talking of a chore, pain or hardship.  As we travel through Lent I believe we are challenged to consider the passion, death and resurrection of our Lord as we encounter difficulties in our lives. Jesus owns that being a follower of him may be a source of suffering.  A relationship with Jesus might put one at risk for ridicule and pain.  However, if we remain faithful to Jesus the reward is incredible—eternal life with Jesus Christ!

Nobody gets through this life without some kind of suffering.  Some days there are disappointments, other days loss and the accompanying pain and suffering.  Many of the saints and holy people have concluded that pain is a source of purification or a way one can become stronger.

For today, let's allow ourselves some time for quiet reflection.

When faced with crosses, do I fall apart, give up, or do I rise up, shoulder my crosses with courage, keeping in mind that Jesus shares the load?

“Suffering is nothing by itself. But suffering shared with the passion of Christ is a wonderful gift, the most beautiful gift, a token of love.”    -- St. Teresa of Calcutta   

“If God causes you to suffer much, it is a sign that He has great designs for you, and that He certainly intends to make you a saint. And if you wish to become a great saint, entreat Him yourself to give you much opportunity for suffering; for there is no wood better to kindle the fire of holy love than the wood of the cross, which Christ used for His own great sacrifice of boundless charity.”       -- St. Ignatius of Loyola

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