First Reading: Deut 30:15-20; Psalm: 1. R. v. 40:5ab; Gospel: Lk 9:22-25
BY FR VALENTINE NNAMDI EGBUONU, MSP
When we foresee evil, reason calls us to take proactive action before it materialises. No one sees impending danger and stands. But Jesus did. He knew he was going to be crucified and did nothing about it. Why would Jesus accept evil from the hands of men? Perhaps our immediate answer would be that it’s because it was the only way he could save us. But this would be incorrect. Jesus accepted death on the cross because he truly loved us.
The love of Jesus for us is impeccable. Jesus could have said no to the cross if he wanted, but he didn’t. He thought first of us and our need of salvation. This was what changed everything. This was what doused his fears and emboldened him to accepting the pain of the cross. True love is capable of changing the meaning of fear and pain. If Jesus could do this; then we are also called to do the same.
We may not have to die for someone. But we can give up our needs and comfort for the sake of those in dire need of our help. This is one of the Lenten calls; the need to give alms. Almsgiving is not what we do because we feel it is a religious requirement. It is what we freely choose to do out of love for those in need. When we begin to feel burdened by this spiritual exercise or grumble in observing it; then it has completely lost its essence and meaning. Love is not burdensome and does not grudge. If we knew this, it will help us in our works of charity in this Lenten period and henceforth.
PRAYER FOR THE DAY
Lord Jesus, purify our desire to love and care for one another. Amen.