Word of the day
Reading of the day
Moses said to the people:
"Today I have set before you
life and prosperity, death and doom.
If you obey the commandments of the LORD, your God,
which I enjoin on you today,
loving him, and walking in his ways,
and keeping his commandments, statutes and decrees,
you will live and grow numerous,
and the LORD, your God,
will bless you in the land you are entering to occupy.
If, however, you turn away your hearts and will not listen,
but are led astray and adore and serve other gods,
I tell you now that you will certainly perish;
you will not have a long life
on the land that you are crossing the Jordan to enter and occupy.
I call heaven and earth today to witness against you:
I have set before you life and death,
the blessing and the curse.
Choose life, then,
that you and your descendants may live, by loving the LORD, your God,
heeding his voice, and holding fast to him.
For that will mean life for you,
a long life for you to live on the land that the LORD swore
he would give to your fathers Abraham, Isaac and Jacob."
Gospel of the day
Jesus said to his disciples:
"The Son of Man must suffer greatly and be rejected
by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes,
and be killed and on the third day be raised."
Then he said to all,
"If anyone wishes to come after me, he must deny himself
and take up his cross daily and follow me.
For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it,
but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it.
What profit is there for one to gain the whole world
yet lose or forfeit himself?"
Words of the Holy Father
"We cannot think about the Christian life apart from this path, from this journey that he first made (…). It is the journey of humility, and of humiliation, of self-emptying. For the Christian way of life without the cross is not in fact Christian and if the cross is a cross without Jesus, it is not Christian. (…) This is the way of life that will save us, give us joy and make us fruitful. For this journey of self-denial is undertaken in order to give life: it is the opposite of the journey of egoism ... which leads to one becoming attached to goods for one’s own sake. The Christian way is open to others, for it is the same journey that Jesus has made. It is a journey of self-emptying for the sake of giving life. The Christian way is precisely this way of humility, of meekness, of gentleness. (…) This is our joy and this is our fruitfulness: to travel with Jesus. At the beginning of Lent, let us ask the Lord to teach us a little of this Christian way of service, joy, self-emptying and fruitfulness with him, as he wills". (Santa Marta, March 6, 2014)