Faith Daily | 3 March 2022
PRAYER of the DAY - APBA p 481
Almighty and everlasting God,
you hate nothing that you have made,
and you forgive the sins of all who are penitent:
create and make in us new and contrite hearts,
that we, worthily lamenting our sins,
and acknowledging our wretchedness,
may obtain of you, the God of all mercy,
perfect remission and forgiveness;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
GOSPEL for the Day: Luke 9: 22-25
He (Jesus) sternly ordered and commanded them (the disciples) not to tell anyone, 22saying, ‘The Son of Man must undergo great suffering, and be rejected by the elders, chief priests, and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised.’
23 Then he said to them all, ‘If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. 24For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake will save it. 25What does it profit them if they gain the whole world, but lose or forfeit themselves?
GOSPEL REFLECTION: Mary Rose
In the previous passage (vs18-20) we are told that Jesus was praying alone and only his disciples were with him. He asks them who the crowds thought he was and they replied John the Baptist, Elijah and even one of the ancient prophets who had arisen. (It is interesting to note that even Herod (vs7-9) was wondering the same thing and was worried by the common suggestions of who Jesus was, especially the idea it was John the Baptist because he had beheaded him. It is recorded here that he tried to see him.)
Jesus then asked them who they said he was. Peter immediately answered, ‘The Messiah of God.’ At last at least one of the disciples had realised! Perhaps at last they can see that the Messiah has at last arrived among them. But he is not the conquering military leader that was expected. He needs to prepare them for what is to come. However he tells them quite sternly not to tell anyone and then quite plainly foretells how he will be rejected by the leaders of the church, executed and on the third day raised from the dead!
Were they really ready for all this! It has taken so long for them to realise who he truly is despite being close disciples who had witnessed his many miraculous deeds and heard the wonderful messages his sermons had for a new and wonderful way to love God and live meaningful lives.
But he then tells them in verses 23-25 what it is going to mean for them if they remain faithful to him. They too will have to take up their ‘cross’ each day, deny worldly things and follow the same path which may lead to betrayal and even death. Jesus then says that those who lose their life because of him will save it. Their reward is eternal life in him. What a “blessed assurance” but I wonder how they could take this all in. As they travelled with him to Jerusalem they still failed to believe the dreadful fate which Jesus had foretold for himself and they must have wondered how they would be able to carry on after his death.
FINAL PRAYER: prayer by an unknown author (from A Barclay Prayer Book by William Barclay)
O Christ, our only Saviour, so dwell within us that we may go forth with the light of hope in our eyes, and the fire of inspiration on our lips, thy word on our tongue, and thy love in our hearts: through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen