Homily (Reflection) for Thursday after Ash Wednesday (18th February, 2021) on the Gospel
Ps 1:1-4.6. (Ps 39:5);
Topic: The third day.
Jesus foretold His death in today’s gospel saying, “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” (Lk 9:22).
Afterwards, He warned, “If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me” (Lk 9:23). Elsewhere He also warned, “you will be hated by all for my name's sake” (Matt 10:22a; Mk 13:13a). Although these warnings are somehow scary He also consoles, “But he who endures to the end will be saved” (Matt 10:22b; Mk 13:13b). In the gospel according to Saint John we also read, “I will raise him up at the last day” (Jn 6:44).
The last two verses of today’s gospel ought to ring like bells always in our ears: “For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake will save it. What does it profit them if they gain the whole world, but lose or forfeit themselves?” (Lk 9:24-25).
Trying to please the world is very dangerous. Hence James warns, “Unfaithful creatures! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God” (Jas 4:4).
Christ’s story did not end in great suffering, rejection, and death but in His resurrection on the third day. The third day comes after other days (tribulations). Christians must live for the third day because there are so many good things reserved for that day, cf. 1Cor 15:13-14.
Bible Reading: Gal 5:16-26.
Thought for today: Live for the third day.
Let us pray: God grant us your grace to live for the world to come – Amen.
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