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Wednesday, March 11, 2009

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Jeremiah 18:18-20
Psalm 31
Matthew 20:17-28

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"Such is the case with the Son of Man Who has come, not to be served by others, but to serve, to give His own life as a ransom for the many." —Matthew 20:28

Lent is not only the imitation of Jesus' fasting but also of His battle against the devil. Like Jesus, we spend Lent in the desert (Lk 4:1). We're struggling and need all the help we can get. However, the Lord is calling us not to be preoccupied with our own needs, but to reach out and serve one another.

Jesus did this when He washed the feet of the apostles shortly before His brutal death (Jn 13:5). He had compassion on the weeping women of Jerusalem while He was carrying the cross up Calvary (Lk 23:28). Even while hanging on the cross, suffering, and breathing His last, Jesus looked beyond His own pain and promised paradise to the repentant thief (Lk 23:43).

We too are called to love others when we feel unloved ourselves, to meet others' needs when our needs go unmet. This is impossible to do by human power, but "nothing is impossible with God" (Lk 1:37). By His grace, we can break the spell of self and serve one another with unselfish love.

Prayer:  Father, may Your love conquer my self (2 Cor 5:14-15).

Promise:  "Anyone among you who aspires to greatness must serve the rest, and whoever wants to rank first among you must serve the needs of all." —Mt 20:26-27

Praise:  Leading the youth group was demanding, but Mary knew in her heart it was all for the glory of God.

Reference:  (For a related teaching, order our tape Love on audio AV 58-1 or video V-58.)

Rescript:  †Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, August 11, 2008

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