Malankara World

Great Lent Today

Day 24 - Fourth Wednesday of the Great Lent (Mid Lent)

Mid Lent

In Church: Great Lent - Mid Lent  - Raising of the Cross Liturgy (Malayalam-Samajam)

Opening Prayer:

Grant, we pray, o Lord,
that, schooled through Lenten observance
and nourished by your word,
through holy restraint
we may be devoted to you with all our hearts
and be ever united in prayer.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.

The Readings
Deuteronomy 4:1, 5-9; Psalm 147:12-13, 15-16, 19-20; Matthew 5:17-19

In His Steps - A Lenten Series

Today: Caesarea Philippi: Are You All In?

Daily Meditation:

Make us one in love and prayer.

This was a special liturgy in the early church.
On this day the first of the Scrutinies was celebrated.
We can see why the instruction is about fidelity, but tone of the prayer is one of unity.
On this day when the community prayed so earnestly for those about to be baptized,
we can feel the power of asking that we be made one.

We might reflect upon what it is that divides us,
and what I might do to let the Spirit of Unity draw us together.

I want all of them to be one with each other,
just as I am one with you and you are one with me.
I also want them to be one with us.
Then the people of this world will believe that you sent me.

Jesus' prayer at the Last Supper for
"for everyone else who will have faith because of what my followers will say about me. "
John 17:21

Today's Daily Reflection

by Marcia Shadle Cusic, School of Medicine, Creighton University

"Therefore, I teach you the statutes and decrees as the LORD, my God, has commanded me, that you may observe them in the land you are entering to occupy."

A straight forward message in the First Reading today tells us that once we become aware of the messages from God we not only have an opportunity to live the messages BUT to also teach others and serve as a role model no matter " the land you are entering to occupy" or no matter what situation you find yourself in.

The First Reading then goes on to empower each of us when we are told, "For what great nation is there that has gods so close to it as the LORD, our God, is to us whenever we call upon him?" We should be filled with hope and goodness, knowing, that in an instant, we can call upon God to be with us in our decisions, our anxiety our uncertainty and our joy. If we allow the true messages of scripture to be written on our hearts, and ask God to be with us throughout our day, the Christian journey of living life on this earth side by side with our fellow women and men should be a journey of peace, hope and resolve.

Our faith, trust and belief in the messages of God will and can indeed "Strengthen the bars of our gates". The "bars of our gates", for me, symbolize the strength of our faith which can deflect non-truths, greed, envy, evilness in this world. The readings today express a clear message of the power and the trust we can put in our faith to live a life filled with hope, joy and love, trusting that, "If God is for us… who can be against us."

Preface for Meditation:
by Prince Mathew

How precious the gift of the cross, how splendid to contemplate! In the cross there is no mingling of good and evil, as in the tree of paradise: it is wholly beautiful to behold and good to taste. The fruit of this tree is not death but life, not darkness but light. This tree does not cast us out of paradise, but opens the way for our return.

This was the tree on which Christ, like a king on a chariot, destroyed the devil, the lord of death, and freed the human race from his tyranny. This was the tree upon which the Lord like a brave warrior wounded in hands, feet and side, healed the wounds of sin that the evil serpent had inflicted on our nature. A tree once caused our death, but now a tree brings life. Once deceived by a tree, we have now repelled the cunning serpent by a tree. What an astonishing transformation! That death should become life, that decay should become immortality, that shame should become glory!

The wonders accomplished through this tree were foreshadowed clearly even by the mere types and figures that existed in the past. Was it not the wood of a tree that enabled Noah, at God's command, to escape the destruction of the flood together with his sons, his wife, his sons' wives and every kind of animal? And surely the rod of Moses prefigured the cross when it changed water into blood, swallowed up the false serpents of Pharaoh's magicians, divided the sea at one stroke and then restored the waters to their normal course, drowning the enemy and saving God's own people? Aaron's rod, which blossomed in one day in proof of his true priesthood, was another figure of the cross, and did not Abraham foreshadow the cross when he bound his son Isaac and placed him on the pile of wood?

By the cross death was slain and Adam was restored to life. The cross is the glory of all the apostles, the crown of the martyrs, the sanctification of the saints. By the cross we put on Christ and cast aside our former self. By the cross we, the sheep of Christ, have been gathered into one flock, destined for the sheepfold of heaven.

Bible Reading Passages:
Fourth Wednesday of Great Lent (Mid Lent)

Fifty-Day Gospel Planner
(Read all Gospels during the Great Lent)

Evening

Morning

Before Holy Qurbana

Holy Qurbana

Gospel Readings:

Matthew 17:22-27 (KJV)

And while they abode in Galilee, Jesus said unto them, The Son of man shall be betrayed into the hands of men:

And they shall kill him, and the third day he shall be raised again. And they were exceeding sorry.

And when they were come to Capernaum, they that received tribute money came to Peter, and said, Doth not your master pay tribute?

He saith, Yes. And when he was come into the house, Jesus prevented him, saying, What thinkest thou, Simon? of whom do the kings of the earth take custom or tribute? of their own children, or of strangers?

Peter saith unto him, Of strangers. Jesus saith unto him, Then are the children free.

Notwithstanding, lest we should offend them, go thou to the sea, and cast an hook, and take up the fish that first cometh up; and when thou hast opened his mouth, thou shalt find a piece of money: that take, and give unto them for me and thee.

John 3:13-21 (KJV)

And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven.

And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up:

That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.

For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.

But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.

Bible Verse of the day:

"They will kill him, and on the third day he will be raised to life." And the disciples were filled with grief." - St. Matthew 17:23

Intercessions:

Blessed be God, the giver of salvation, who decreed that mankind should become a new creation in himself, when all would be made new. With great confidence let us ask him:
Lord, renew us in your Spirit.

Lord, you promised a new heaven and a new earth; renew us daily through your Spirit,
- that we may enjoy your presence for ever in the heavenly Jerusalem.
Help us to work with you to make this world alive with your Spirit,
- and to build on earth a city of justice, love and peace.
Free us from all negligence and sloth,
- and give us joy in your gifts of grace.
Deliver us from evil,
- and from slavery to the senses, which blinds us to goodness.

Closing Prayer:

God, you love me as your own child.
May I bend my life and will toward you
so that I might accept your teaching and guidance.
I am so grateful for your support in my life,
now and in the eternal life you are preparing for me.
I beg for your help and Spirit in my life today.

May the Lord bless us,
protect us from all evil
and bring us to everlasting life.
Amen.

Source: Portions from: Creighton University Praying Lent

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