18 February 2021

Reading and meditation on the Word of God on Thursday after Ash Wednesday, February 18, 2021

Whoever loses his life for my sake will save it. Reading and meditation on the Word of God on Thursday after Ash Wednesday, February 18, 2021. Reading ia delivered by Julius Alo Bunga and meditation is delivered by Winda Pasaribu (they are from Saint Peter’s School in Jakarta, Indonesia). Deuteronomy 30: 15-20; Rs psalm 1: 1-; Luke 9: 22-25.


The theme for our meditation today is: We Must Choose Blessing. After Ash Wednesday, the Church’s liturgy of the following day invites us to reflect on God’s blessings. Lent is intended to guide us in the discipline of faith with more demands on the quantity and quality of our religious observances than the other liturgical seasons. And so, the blessing of the Lord is very much needed for the realization of this disciplinary process. God pleases to provide blessings to everyone who is so eager to search and hope for one’s own salvation.

If we choose blessing, then what should we not choose? If God offers us His blessings, what things doesn’t God give us? The book of Deuteronomy in the first reading shows that the curses and allurements of sin should not be our choices. In fact, some people choose curse or trouble in their souls because they follow their own freedom says. God had created this life in the beginning as good as His own nature. However, because of the fall of the first human beings into sin, the existence and growth of that goodness has been disturbed by the curse of sin. Therefore, the freedom of human nature can lead someone to choose to sin. As the believers and most especially the followers of Christ, we are led to choose blessing.

To choose blessing means to choose God. Meanwhile, to choose curse means to choose the enemy of God, namely Satan. In God we find life, love, and hope for an eternal life even after our life on this world. Whereas in the curse there must be death, hatred, and eternal punishment. Jesus Christ was sent by the Father into the world to establish a kingdom of life that rules and brings all people to the heavenly blessing. His teachings and examples of life have become lamps and living water that ensure the outpouring gifts to us in the form of graces bestowed upon everyone in need.

In today’s Gospel, Jesus Christ leads us to make our one choice which is to follow Him, for from Him alone flows all the blessings that we need. In this Lenten season, we shall receive blessings through prayer, fasting, and charity. These three spiritual practices must be carried out in the spirit of the cross which we bear and through the renunciation of ourselves. The cross truly signifies sacrifice and the heavy burden that we bear in life. We pray, fast or do some mortifications, and do charity in such level of quantity and quality in the same manner that Jesus Christ had done. These three religious disciplines should also lead us to focus on our communion with God, and not on ourselves and all other interests of the world. Because only from this communion, the heavenly blessings come to us abundantly.

Let’s pray. In the name of the Father … O Lord Jesus Christ, Your words strengthen our intention to carry the cross and to deny ourselves in order to follow You with sincerity. Bless us that along the path of following You we will find our true humanity. Hail Mary full or grace, the Lord is with you … In name of the Father …

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