Malankara World

Great Lent Today

Day 16 - Third Tuesday of the Great Lent

Opening Prayer

Guard your Church, we pray, O Lord, in your unceasing mercy,
and, since without you moral humanity is sure to fall,
may we be kept by our constant helps from all harm
and directed to all that bring salvation.
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 (alternate)

Isaiah 1:10, 16-20; Psalm 50:8-9, 16bc-17, 21 and 23; Matthew 23:1-12

In His Steps - A Lenten Series

Today: Levi's House: Hanging with a Bad Crowd

Daily Meditation:

Protect us from what could harm us.
Today's lesson is about being on guard against religious hypocrisy -
always a potential trap, as we grow in our desire.
Again, we turn to our God for help, our God whose love is "unfailing."

To the upright
I will show the saving power of God.
Why do you recite my statutes,
and profess my covenant with your mouth,
Though you hate discipline
and cast my words behind you?
To the upright
I will show the saving power of God.
Psalm 50

Today's Daily Reflection

by Eileen Wirth
Journalism Department, Creighton University

Isaiah 1:10, 16-20
Psalm 50:8-9, 16bc-17, 21+23
Matthew 23:1-12

"The greatest among you must be your servant. Whoever exalts himself will be humbled; but whoever humbles himself will be exalted." Matthew

Every morning a year ago, I'd sit on my couch watching for my colleague Carol to pick me up to take me to Creighton because I couldn't drive. It was quite a change from my normal dash out the door at 5 a.m. to work out at the gym before a day of running around like a crazy lady at work!

And Carol wasn't the only one I turned to during the long three months when I was on a walker with a broken ankle. My wonderful daughter Shanti did everything from driving me to appointments to running errands and working around my house. My friend Jane drove me to church. My friends Phyllis and Jeanne took me grocery shopping. My nursing professor friend Dianne brought lunch to my office once a week. My friend Merrilee did my laundry while we chatted over wine. Two sisters at my gym, Sonji and Therese, even tracked down my email, worried because I had gone missing.

These unpretentious friends who were my collective lifeline came to mind when I read today's passage from Matthew because they exemplified the opposite of people who "perform their works to be seen." No one ever listed things like "setting up Eileen's computer so she could work at home" (Don and Tim) on an annual report detailing their community service. Everyone pitched in with no thought of recognition.

In excoriating hypocrites and people who make a public display of their goodness and service, Jesus teaches us to demonstrate genuine, selfless love of neighbor as those who helped me did. On judgment day, I doubt that God will care how many committees we've collected or how often we've appeared in the paper attending fundraisers but He'll note those who fixed dinner for someone who couldn't get out (Peggy and Gloria) or visited someone who was homebound (lots of folks).

I only hope that a few of the people I have named and others whom I omitted because my list is VERY long can feel me exalting them for such cheerful help. It's the only reward I can offer, but it is the one that Jesus promised. Deo gratias!

Preface for Meditation
by Prince Mathew

During this Great Lent we have to wear the Cross of Reconciliation – the Cross of Peace. Psalm 34:14 urges us to "seek peace and pursue it." Peace will not come to us, indeed we are prone to create conflict and division rather than be at peace. That is music to Satan’s ears. He enjoys seeing people in conflict, especially brothers and sisters of Christ. But God is One who will seek peace. God pursued peace between himself and us by sending his Son, Jesus Christ. It was God who took the initiative, not us. In Psalm 34 he urges those who know his peace to be the first to risk seeking peace with others.

Jesus was talking to his Disciples in Matthew 5 about the destructive nature of tearing people down with words. When destructive words have been spoken, Jesus told them what to do. "If you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift at the altar, but go first and be reconciled to your brother – then come and offer your gift." By using the Cross of Reconciliation our worship is now acceptable to God. In the same way Christ’s Reconciling death on the cross has made us acceptable to God. There on the cross sinful men ganged up on Jesus to nail him to the cross motivated by all their anger and hatred and hostility, but God used the very same cross to bring peace and reconciliation between God and men…between himself and us…..

Bible Reading Passages:

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

Evening

Morning

Gospel Readings:

Mark 10:17-27 (KJV)

And when he was gone forth into the way, there came one running, and kneeled to him, and asked him, Good Master, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?

And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God.

Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Defraud not, Honour thy father and mother.

And he answered and said unto him, Master, all these have I observed from my youth.

Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me.

And he was sad at that saying, and went away grieved: for he had great possessions.

And Jesus looked round about, and saith unto his disciples, How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God!

And the disciples were astonished at his words. But Jesus answereth again, and saith unto them, Children, how hard is it for them that trust in riches to enter into the kingdom of God!

It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.

And they were astonished out of measure, saying among themselves, Who then can be saved?

And Jesus looking upon them saith, With men it is impossible, but not with God: for with God all things are possible.

Mark 4:1-20 (KJV)

And he began again to teach by the sea side: and there was gathered unto him a great multitude, so that he entered into a ship, and sat in the sea; and the whole multitude was by the sea on the land.

And he taught them many things by parables, and said unto them in his doctrine,

Hearken; Behold, there went out a sower to sow:

And it came to pass, as he sowed, some fell by the way side, and the fowls of the air came and devoured it up.

And some fell on stony ground, where it had not much earth; and immediately it sprang up, because it had no depth of earth:

But when the sun was up, it was scorched; and because it had no root, it withered away.

And some fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up, and choked it, and it yielded no fruit.

And other fell on good ground, and did yield fruit that sprang up and increased; and brought forth, some thirty, and some sixty, and some an hundred.

And he said unto them, He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.

And when he was alone, they that were about him with the twelve asked of him the parable.

And he said unto them, Unto you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God: but unto them that are without, all these things are done in parables:

That seeing they may see, and not perceive; and hearing they may hear, and not understand; lest at any time they should be converted, and their sins should be forgiven them.

And he said unto them, Know ye not this parable? and how then will ye know all parables?

The sower soweth the word.

And these are they by the way side, where the word is sown; but when they have heard, Satan cometh immediately, and taketh away the word that was sown in their hearts.

And these are they likewise which are sown on stony ground; who, when they have heard the word, immediately receive it with gladness;

And have no root in themselves, and so endure but for a time: afterward, when affliction or persecution ariseth for the word's sake, immediately they are offended.

And these are they which are sown among thorns; such as hear the word,

And the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful.

And these are they which are sown on good ground; such as hear the word, and receive it, and bring forth fruit, some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some an hundred.

Bible Verse of the Day:

Jesus looked at them and said, "With man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God." - St. Mark 10:27

Intercessions:

God the Father has given us his only Son, the Word made man,
to be our food and our life. Let us thank him and pray:
May the word of Christ dwell among us in all its richness.

Help us in this Lenten season to listen more frequently to your word,
-that we may celebrate the solemnity of Easter with greater love for Christ, our paschal teacher,
-that we may encourage those in doubt and error to follow what is true and good.
Enable us to enter more deeply into the mystery of the Anointed One,
-that our lives may reveal him more effectively.
Purify and renew your Church in this time of salvation,
-that it may give an even greater witness to you.

Closing Prayer:

God in heaven and in my life,
guide me and protect me.
I so often believe I can save myself
and I always end in failure.
Lead me with your love away from harm
and guide me on the right path.
May your Spirit inspire the Church
and make us an instrument of your love and guidance.
Thank you for your care for me.

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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