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Sunday, February 24, 2013

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Second Sunday of Lent

Genesis 15:5-12, 17-18
Philippians 3:17—4:1
Psalm 27:1, 7-9, 13-14
Luke 9:28-36

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sleeping it off

"They appeared in glory and spoke of His passage, which He was about to fulfill in Jerusalem. Peter and those with Him had fallen into a deep sleep." —Luke 9:31-32

When Jesus talks about the cross, we tend to doze off, if not physically, then at least spiritually. Did you ever notice what the subject was at the times when you fell asleep in church or fell asleep praying? You may find yourself snoring or at least daydreaming when Jesus brings up the cross of self-denial and self-sacrifice. When Jesus was suffering the agony in the garden of Gethsemani, the three apostles He took with Him had fallen asleep (Lk 22:45). At Jesus' Transfiguration, Moses and Elijah were talking to Jesus about His "passage" from earth to heaven. This "passage" included Jesus' sufferings on the cross. Once again, we find Peter, James, and John in "a deep sleep."

Sleep can be used for rest or for escape. We are tempted to use it for escape, especially when it's time each day to take up our cross and follow Jesus (Lk 9:23). We need a wake-up call. Jesus' Transfiguration was an unsuccessful attempt to wake us up to the cross. However, Pentecost was successful. Filled with the Holy Spirit, the early Church carried the cross.

Beginning this Lent, let's quit sleeping through Jesus' command to share in His agony and suffering. Let's have "com-passion"; let's suffer with Him. "Awake, O sleeper, arise from the dead, and Christ will give you light" (Eph 5:14).

Prayer:  Father, may I suffer with Jesus and be glorified with Him (Rm 8:17).

Promise:  "Take as your guide those who follow the example that we set. Unfortunately, many go about in a way which shows them to be enemies of the cross of Christ." —Phil 3:17-18

Praise:  Praise You, risen Jesus. Heaven and earth are full of Your glory!

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, September 13, 2012

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