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Catholic Daily Liturgical Guide 15.02.24

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Catholic Daily Liturgical Guide 15.02.24

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DEUTERONOMY 30: 15 – 20

Moses spoke to the people, saying, “See, I have set before you this day life and good, death and evil. If you obey the commandments of the Lord your God which I command you this day, by loving the Lord your God, by walking in his ways, and by keeping his commandments and his statutes and his ordinances, then you shall live and multiply, and the Lord your God will bless you in the land which you are entering to take possession of it. But if your heart tums away, and you will not hear, but are drawn away to worship other gods and serve them, I declare to you this day, that you shall perish; you shall not live long in the land which you are going over the Jordan to enter and possess. I call heaven and earth to witness against you this day, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse; therefore choose life, that you and your descendants may live, loving the Lord your God, obeying his voice, and clinging to him; for that means life to you and length of days, that you may dwell in the land which the Lord swore to your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them.”

The Word of the Lord.

RESPONSORIAL PSALM
Psalm 1: 1 – 2, 3, 4 and 6 (R.) 40: 5ab

R/. Blessed the man who has placed his trust in the Lord.

Blessed indeed is the man
Who follows not the counsel of the wicked,
Nor stands in the path with sinners,
Nor abides in the company of scorners,
But whose delight is the law of the Lord,
And who ponders his law day and night. R/.

He is like a tree that is planted
Beside the flowing waters,
That yields its fruit in due season,
And whose leaves shall never fade;
and all that he does shall prosper. R/.

Not so are the wicked, not so!
For they, like winnowed chaff,
Shall be driven away by the wind.
For the Lord knows the way of the just,
but the way of the wicked will perish. R/.

GOSPEL ACCLAMATION
Matthew 4: 17

Glory and praise to you, O Christ.
Repent, says the Lord, for the Kingdom of heaven is at hand.
Glory and praise to you, O Christ.

GOSPEL
“Whoever loses his life for my sake, he will save it.”
LUKE 9: 22 – 25

At that time: Jesus said to his disciples, “The Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised.” And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.  For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it.  For what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses or forfeits himself?

The Gospel of the Lord

GOSPEL REFLECTION: Deep Love Casts Out Fear
February 15, 2024

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.” (Luke 9:22)

Jesus knew He would suffer greatly, be rejected and killed. How would you deal with that knowledge if you somehow knew this about your own future? Most people would be filled with fear and become obsessed with trying to avoid it. But not our Lord. This passage above shows just how intent He was on embracing His Cross with unwavering confidence and courage.

This is just one of several times that Jesus began to break the news to His disciples about His pending fate. And each time He spoke this way, the disciples for the most part remained either silent or in denial. Recall, for example, one such reaction of Saint Peter when he responded to Jesus’ prediction of His Passion by saying, “God forbid, Lord! No such thing shall ever happen to you” (Matthew 16:22).

In reading this passage above, the strength, courage and determination of our Lord shine through by the fact that He speaks so clearly and definitively. And what motivates Jesus to speak with such conviction and courage is His love.

Too often, “love” is understood as a strong and good feeling. It’s perceived as an attraction to something or a strong liking of it. But that’s not love in the truest form. True love is a choice to do what is best for another, no matter the cost, no matter how difficult. True love is not a feeling that seeks selfish fulfillment. True love is an unwavering strength that seeks only the good of the person who is loved.

Jesus’ love for humanity was so strong that He was driven toward His pending death with great power. He was unwaveringly determined to sacrifice His life for us all, and there was nothing that would ever deter Him from that mission.

In our own lives, it’s easy to lose sight of what true love actually is. We can easily become caught up in our own selfish desires and think that these desires are love. But they are not.

Reflect, today, upon the unwavering determination of our Lord to sacrificially love us all by suffering greatly, by enduring rejection, and by dying upon the Cross. Nothing could have ever deterred Him from this love. We must show the same sacrificial love.

PRAYER:
My loving Lord, I thank You for Your unwavering commitment to sacrifice Yourself for us all. I thank You for this unfathomable depth of true love. Give me the grace I need, dear Lord, to turn away from all forms of selfish love so as to imitate and participate in Your most perfect sacrificial love. I do love You, dear Lord. Help me to love You and others with all my heart. Jesus, I trust in You.

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