Malankara World

Great Lent Today

Day 39 - Thursday before Hosanna

Opening Prayer:

Be near, O Lord, to those who plead before you,
and look kindly on those who place their hop in your mercy,
that, cleansed from the stain of their sins,
they may persevere in holy living
and be made full heirs of your promise.
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)
Genesis 17: 3-9; Psalm 105:4-9; John 8:51-59

In His Steps - A Lenten Series

Today: The Temple: Not One Stone Will Be Left

Daily Meditation:

Come to us, free us, help us, and guide us.
We pray more intensely now, just a week before Holy Thursday.
We desire more and more that we might be free.
Sorrow leads to profound gratitude,
when we experience the depth of unconditional love offered us.
The gratitude of a loved sinner leads to great generosity.

Christ is the mediator of a new covenant so that since he has died,
those who are called may receive the eternal inheritance promised to them.
The Entrance Antiphon - Hebrews 9:15

Today's Daily Reflection

by Isabelle Cherney
Graduate School and University College, Creighton University

Today's readings remind us of God's covenant with Abraham, and with all of us. We are called to keep his covenant throughout the ages. In return, he will be our God and the God of our descendants. The Psalm reminds us that we should "look to the Lord in his strength; seek to serve him constantly." Lent is a good time to reflect on his covenant and on our place in the world and in the Church. This year, with the resignation of Pope Benedict, we have a new opportunity to reflect on what it means to follow God's word and what it means to be without papal leadership during this unique time.

I happen to be the director of a doctoral program in leadership at Creighton University. As I reflect on these days without a leader in the Roman Catholic Church, I keep reminding myself that we are all leaders in our own right. We all are guides and facilitators of our followers. As Chris Lowney writes in his excellent book Heroic Leadership, "Leadership is not a job, not a role one plays at work and then puts aside during the commute home in order to relax and enjoy real life. Rather, leadership is the leader's real life", we are all leaders in the church, in our family, in our jobs, in all we do.

In today's Gospel passage the Jews did not believe Jesus. Imagine being told that who professes that "whoever keeps my word will never see death" when this is completely outside your experience. John's words remind me that as much as we are leaders to many, we should not forget that we are followers of God. However, being a follower is difficult. We have to trust that the leader means well, and has our best interest in mind. We have to trust that the leader speaks the truth.

During this season of Lent I pray for the cardinals in Rome, that they may find the right leader for the Church, a leader who will bring all people together for peace and justice. I pray that I will be open and have the courage to follow the leaders around me, and that when acting in the role of a leader, I will always act for the greater good and my leadership style will inspire others to become better leaders.

Preface for Meditation:
by Prince Mathew

"Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son." God had asked Abraham to make the fundamental sacrifice, that of his future, his inheritance, his hope. He submitted his will to the will of God and met the challenge placed before him.

With that in mind, what do we see when we look at the cross before us? Beyond any of the spiritual and symbolic images that it may invoke, there is one central tenant, one core fact that we cannot deny: God did not spare His only son. Instead he hangs there on a cross, crucified.

God the Father did not ask anything of Abraham that He himself would not one day do. However, for Abraham and Isaac the call to sacrifice was only a test. Not so for God the Father and his only son, Jesus Christ. There is no ram caught in the bushes nearby, bringing at the last moment a welcomed deliverance. No, the die was cast in the eternal heart of God and sealed by Adamís first sin, then made final and sure by every sin that followed after. The cup of sacrifice has been raised to Jesusí lips and it will not pass him by. There is no reprieve for the lamb slain from the foundation of the world.

When we look within this one all-encompassing sacrifice, we see the echoes of all the sacrifices that God has in the past, or will at any time in the future, ask each of us to make. From this singular moment of agape, self-sacrificial love, all other acts of sacrifice find their true significance, their eternal grounding, their meaning and purpose.

So, as we look back on our past offerings and face whatever sacrifices that lay ahead, we can know that nothing we offer will ever be forgotten, no effort we make will ever be lost in the dustbin of time. Every effort will find its proper place, its appointed purpose within this single transforming moment.

As we survey this wondrous cross, where Jesus hangs to die, with love so amazing, with love so divine, what small demand then is God asking of us today?

Look upon the one you have pierced.

Bible Reading Passages:
Thursday before Hosanna

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



Gospel Readings:

Matthew 7:1-12 (KJV)

Judge not, that ye be not judged.

For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.

And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?

Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye?

Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye.

Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.

Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:

For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.

Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone?

Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent?

If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?

Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.

Mark 8:22-26 (KJV)

And he cometh to Bethsaida; and they bring a blind man unto him, and besought him to touch him.

And he took the blind man by the hand, and led him out of the town; and when he had spit on his eyes, and put his hands upon him, he asked him if he saw ought.

And he looked up, and said, I see men as trees, walking.

After that he put his hands again upon his eyes, and made him look up: and he was restored, and saw every man clearly.

And he sent him away to his house, saying, Neither go into the town, nor tell it to any in the town.

Matthew 20:17-19 (KJV)

And Jesus going up to Jerusalem took the twelve disciples apart in the way, and said unto them,

Behold, we go up to Jerusalem; and the Son of man shall be betrayed unto the chief priests and unto the scribes, and they shall condemn him to death,

And shall deliver him to the Gentiles to mock, and to scourge, and to crucify him: and the third day he shall rise again.

Bible Verse of the Day:

"Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you". St. Matthew 7:7


Christ our Lord came among us as the light of the world,
that we might walk in his light, and not in the darkness of death.
Let us praise him and cry out to him:
Let your word be a lamp to guide us.

God of mercy, help us today to grow in your likeness,
- that we who sinned in Adam may rise again in Christ.
Let your word be a lamp to guide us,
- that we may live the truth and grow always in your love.
Teach us to be faithful in seeking the common good for your sake,
- that your light may shine on the whole human family by means of your Church.
Touch our hearts to seek your friendship more and more,
- and to make amends for our sins against your wisdom and goodness.

Closing Prayer:

all I want is to be faithful to you in my life,
but so often I fail.
Free me from my many sins
and guide me to the life I will share with you.
I wait for your promise to be fulfilled
with great hope in my heart
and your praise on my lips.

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

Source: Portions from: Creighton University Praying Lent

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